February 07, 2014
Woolrich in History
Woolrich Woolen Mills started in 1830 on the mule cart of one man, Jon Rich. Jon spun heavy blanket style wools and sold them by the yard to the wives of miners, loggers and trappers who would use the wool to make clothes for their husbands.
As business grew so did the operation and it wasn’t long before the mill employed most of the town so they renamed themselves Woolrich, Pennsylvania.
Woolrich provided wool for the uniforms of Civil War troops and made many of the calvary blankets that are still around and prized as historical heirlooms. Before there was LL Bean or Eddie Bauer, Woolrich was the go-to outfitter for the East Coast’s outdoor laborers and hunters. They were known for vests and jackets constructed in their classic red buffalo plaid hunter’s check as well as the Arctic Parka, a jacket that was worn for years by workers on the Alaskan pipeline.
They have faced serious adversity in modern times while many of their peers cut corners in quality and outsourced labor, to benefit the bottom line. Instead they chose to continue manufacturing wool in the same exact plant in Pennsylvania. When it comes to durable feild grade wools, the decisions they make every day keep their top notch quality intact. Its no coincidence that they are the longest continually operating woolen mill in the USA, and shall be for years to come.