Unarguably, the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show in Salt Lake City is where trends are set. A small city in itself, the show is populated by the most progressive companies in outdoor gear, goods, and apparel.
And at the most recent gathering last January, it was the heritage-infused presentation by Woolrich that garnered two of the shows most coveted style awards.
First, Woolrich was honored with the Best Overall Booth award: an honor akin to being named the coolest house in your neighborhood. According to SNEWS, an outdoor industry kingmaker, the unique Woolrich presentation was a true showstopper.
“…. Manufacturers of outdoor apparel since 1830, the Pennsylvania mill is so full of museum-quality historical objects, the team had a tough time deciding what NOT to use as props … The open center of the booth was designed to show us the heart of the brand by sharing their rich company history. Sheep sheers, sock dryers, garment racks, loom shuttles, even a framed letter from General McClellan, kept Woolrich’s ‘heart’ full of fascinated visitors … (the) Booth exterior provided contrast with the heart of yesterday by adding contemporary imagery and quotes more reflective of today’s outdoor enthusiast. Cube graphics were repurposed to mirror the walls of the booth’s past and present. Bravo, Woolrich!…”
The second award garnered by Woolrich was a bit less traditional, but no less important. During the trade show’s annual industry party, a charity-benefit street hockey tournament drew standing-room-only crowds for nearly four hours. Although the Woolrich team lost in the first round, the team easily walked away with the honor of best jersey.
The hand-crafted jerseys worn by the squad were crafted by Woolrich designer Stephen Fuller. Using American wool from the Woolrich mill, Stephen added blaze orange fleece around the shirttail as well.
After the game, numerous fans and players asked to do a “jersey swap” with members of the Woolrich team. But none of the players were willing to part with these one-of-a-kind collectors items.
As the oldest continually operating woolen mill in the United States, Woolrich’s manufacturing legacy is deeply rooted in the production of wool blankets. To this day, Woolrich’s blanket collection, including its line of Civil War blankets that sustained union troops since the first conflict, remain in production and popular amongst consumers. In addition, Woolrich’s 180 year-old history includes its unique historical relationship with another historic blanket manufacturer–The Pearce Company.
In the late 1700s, wool blankets were so vital to human survival and comfort that they actually served as currency. Blankets were often traded between the Native Americans and trappers through the Hudson’s Bay Company of England, and distributed in America by the Pearce Manufacturing Company–another Pennsylvania-based mill operation.
Pearce was established in 1805 in Harmony, Pennsylvania by the Harmonite Society. In 1928, Woolrich bought the Pearce Manufacturing Company, and by 1959, the Pearce blankets were fully incorporated into the Woolrich mill operations.
Upon acquisition of the Pearce Company, Woolrich recieved the official license to distribute the blankets in the U.S. The flagship staple of the Pearce Company, the Hudson’s Bay Collection,is proudly distributed by Woolrich to this day, alongside the Fawn Grove collection.
The signature four-stripe, high-quality bed blankets are available in sizes that fit today’s modern bed sizes. A four-point blanket fits a full-size bed, a six-point blanket first a queen and an eight-point blanket fits a king size bed. The legendary 100 percent wool blankets are still made in England with wool collected from sources in England, Wales, New Zealand, and India. To shop Woolrich’s entire collection of woolen blankets
Founded in 1999, Sea Bags of Portland, Maine is the original purveyor of stylish totes made from recycled sailcloth.
Their totes and accessories are 100 percent recycled, and 100 percent made in the USA. Sea Bags’ manufacturing facility operates on Portland’s historic waterfront, drawing inspiration from the local maritime economy and employing its residents.
When Sea Bags CEO Beth Shissler wanted to take the brand’s signature sailcloth totes into the winter season, she reached out to her favorite heritage brand, Woolrich.
In a recent collaboration between the two made-in-the USA classics, comes a limited edition collection of totes made from handpicked Woolrich wool collected from our fabled Woolen Mill in Woolrich, Pennsylvania, and sailcloth that has been sailed around the world.
Sea Bags’ designers traveled to the Woolen Mill to hand select fabric from the mill’s archives, and give it new life as a Sea Bags tote, dopp kit, or iPad case. The result is a stylish, classic collaboration that celebrates American manufacturing and design creativity.
Shissler took a few moments to answer a few of our questions about how this unique collaboration came to be.
WP: First things first, tell us how you’re able to get your hands on all these recycled sails…
BS: We have a great team and a Sail Acquisition Manager who covers a lot of territory to get the recycled sails. We also trade sails for bags with any individual who has a sail sitting around and would like to find a new use for it.
We love the Woolrich Woolen Mill. Their rich American historyis iconic to us and their quality is unrivaled.
What makes this collaboration special?
B.S. As one of the oldest US factories, they have so much to teach us. We also believe that we bring a fresh new spirit to them. We believe our sails will take the winter out of the wool, and their wool will take the summer out of the sail. We hope to make a timeless classic product that reflects our two brands.
How limited is this limited edition collection?
B.S. This is pretty limited. When the wool is gone the bags are too. We’ve done 3 colorways: Harvest, Lodge and Forest which we chose from the Woolrich factory floor.
If Woolrich had a company sailboat, what would its name be?
B.S. Weft ‘n Warp
What Sea Bag are you currently carrying?
B.S. I just swapped out my current bag to carry the Harvest tote. The colors are perfectly in sync with our Maine fall foliage.
Final thoughts: What do you want Woolrich fans to know about Sea Bags?
B.S. We would love for Woolrich fans to know that we are passionate about our product and our US made heritage. We want to be around as long as Woolrich has and have a whole lot of fun along the way.
To shop the Woolrich/Sea Bags limited edition collection
Good tidings and happy gift giving season from Woolrich, Pennsylvania.
As the old adage goes, it’s better to give than to receive; unfortunately, that doesn’t make the annual quest for the perfect gift any easier. This year, celebrate everyone on your list with quality, heritage-inspired gifts from the oldest continually operating mill in America, Woolrich.
The expansive collection of gifts for him, her and home includes timeless classics, made-in-the-USA staples and heirloom gifts.
Buying for the bow hunter? Visit the Woolrich slipper shop for classic and recent renditions of sheepskin, leather and suede slippers–including these Sawmill Camo Berber slippers featuring the classic Mossy Oak® camouflage pattern.
Shopping for the stylish sister? Browse the newest winter looks for the fashionista in the family–like the Pemberton Flannel dress, a fresh and feminine take on the flannel shirt.
Browsing on a budget?
The Woolrich holiday gift collection is sorted according to price, so whether you’re looking for a stocking stuffer or an heirloom gift from the heritage collection, there’s a quality, handcrafted gift for every price range. Like this women’s striped knit hat for just $29. With the softness of Mohair, these acrylic yarns in bright colors will help ward off the winter blues.
Woolrich has a meaningful gift for everyone on your mind and shopping list. Or, there’s always the Woolrich gift card.
Check out the full Woolrich gift collection
Inspired by lazy weekend mornings, the men’s plaid flannel pajama set is the perfect gift for any man on your holiday shopping list. The super soft double brushed flannel is 100 percent cotton; give the gift of warmth and comfort.
Get cozy in the women’s fleece robe, a luxuriously soft above-the-knee robe that envelops you in plush microfleece. Patch pockets, a shawl collar and a detachable hood make this robe the ideal gift to take the chill out of a cold morning in front of the coffee maker.
Brisk winter days meet their match in the men’s Expedition Chamois shirt, the heaviest and warmest shirt Woolrich offers. Whether the expedition is out to the wood pile or walking in the woods, the Chamois shirt is made of buttery soft 9-ounce cotton fabric that’s pebble-washed and brushed on both sides. Details like faux horn buttons and buffalo check twill taping inside the collar offer an authentic touch.
Save on your heating bills: Keep a bunch of Pioneer Throwsaround for warm knees while you’re reading or watching TV. Face is 85% wool/15% nylon, woven in our mill in Woolrich, Pennsylvania. Reverse side is ultra-soft polyester fleece. Edges are overcast and then finished with a decorative crocheted whip-stitch. Made in the USA. 50″ x 68″.
With a soft genuine suede upper, a thick faux fur trim, and fleece-lined footbed, these Women’s cozy Willowbrook Suede Slippers will keep your feet warm on cold winter mornings. The durable rubber sole is comfortable both indoors and out. Slip-on style for easy on/off. Imported. Spot clean with damp cloth. Whole sizes 6-10.
To shop the entire Woolrich gift collection
Tis the season to shop.This holiday season, why not invest in a vest for any loved one on your list. Woolrich’s lineup of classic, wool, fleece and down vests are stylish, warm and crafted according to Woolrich’s high standards for quality and performance.
Our testers loved the vintage-style Ruxton Wool Vest, with its classic pointed front and adjustable strap in back. It’s comfortable for casual wear with jeans and also pairs well with dress slacks. Cotton back and full lining keep the vest light and breathable. Three pockets. 90% wool/10% nylon.
We’ve married our classic Heirloom Vest to motorcycle styling for a truly unique Ryder Plaid vest you won’t find anywhere else. Wool-blend shell with polyester satin lining. The front zipper is offset from right lapel. Slanted zip pocket on right breast. Shaping seams on front and back, with adjustable rear buckle for a custom fit. Lower patch pockets with snap closures. Shell: 80% wool/20% nylon. Liner: 100% polyester. Imported. Dry clean.
Be proactive and ready for winter with the down-filled Langhorne Vest. It is water-repellent and fitted with a chunky zipper behind snap-closure storm flap. Upper lining is buffalo check twill; lower lining is nylon taffeta. The Vest has a down-insulated collar, dual-entry hand-warmer pockets, zippered chest pocket, and zippered internal security pocket. Shell: 60% cotton/40% nylon; liner: 100% nylon. Insulation: 80% duck down/20% duck feathers. Imported. Machine wash.
A customer favorite, the Kinsdale Jacket, now has a corduroy vest of the same velvety wide-wale corduroy. It features princess seams and back shaping darts, stand-up collar, and generous front pockets. 100% cotton. Imported. Machine wash.
Sometimes we’ll visit our archives in search of style and design elements that are as practical today as they were a hundred years ago. Our new Blacktail Vest is a prime example of this. Fortunately today we have the benefit of technical fabrics and fills that help protect us better than those from the past. The durable cotton/poly shell is peached and lightly waxed to repel water. The 60-gram Arctic Insulation™ in body insulates against wind and cold. Button closures front and upper chest pockets. Zippered hand-warmer pockets and one internal security pocket with music media cord access. Lined with the same soft, pebble-washed all-cotton flannel found in our Pemberton Shirt. Button adjustments on either side at back. 57% cotton/43% polyester shell. Imported. Machine wash.
To shop the complete Woolrich Gift Collection