The Faribault Woolen Mill in Faribault, Minnesota has stood the test of time—not unlike the durable, beautiful wool blankets they make there. It’s a remarkable business, with a history interwoven with our nation’s. It was established in 1865, the end of the Civil War and the year Lincoln died. First, they outfitted pioneers headed west. Later, the mill would make over 100,000 blankets to serve US soldiers in the First World War, and more than twice that over the course of WWII.

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Beyond that, Faribault thrived through all the massive cultural changes of the 20th Century. At one point, it wove half of the wool blankets made in the entire United States. But in 2009 a combination of factors—offshoring, the Great Recession, and changes in retail caught up with the iconic institution.

The Mill was shut down. The machines sat idle, gathering dust, tagged to be shipped overseas. Workers, some with skills built up over generations, were sent home. The future was unknown.

But the Mill has always been resilient. New owners, seeing a new generation of consumers who cared more about how their products were made and they came from, revived the factory, updating the machinery and bringing back many of the workers. In 2011, Faribault Woolen Mill was up and operating again.

And what an operation it is. Faribault is a vertical factory, meaning all the processes happen under one roof. Nothing is outsourced. Wool bales go in, incredible blankets come out. In between the wool is dyed, sent through a carding machine, spun into yarn, woven into product, and finished. Proximity drives quality: these are blankets that will last a lifetime.

The Mill may run on machines, but the human hand plays a central role: watching, adjusting and participating in the process, touching and shaping the end product.

Faribault is a blanket and a mill. It's also a town. Faribault, Minnesota, the county seat and home to about 25,000 people. The mill has always played a big role in the community. It's a point of pride for the people of this place.

The sad fact is that while Americans today spend less on apparel, they actually buy many more items of clothing, and throw away more pieces than ever. It's incredibly wasteful and bad for the planet: cheap goods criss-crossing the globe on container ships, used only for a short amount of time, only to end up in a landfill.

The blankets of Faribault Woolen Mill stands in direct opposition to that. A durable product that lasts, that doesn't need to be replaced, is a truly sustainable product. And it's a meaningful one too, with stories built in, touched by people who care about their craft. It can have a place in your home and be passed on to the next generation.

That's why we partnered with Faribault Woolen Mill to create two exclusive blankets. We share their values, their ethos and their commitment to quality. Make things better. Make better things. We at American Giant couldn't be more proud to collaborate with the people of Faribault Woolen Mill. We hope you like what we've done together.

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