Photo courtesy of Faribault Woolen Mill.

Faribault Woolen Mill celebrating its 150th anniversary

The mill is marking the anniversary with the launch of new products

By Rachel Burnham

Opening in 1865 (the same year the Civil War ended) Faribault Woolen Mill quickly became the world’s leading manufacturer of blankets — at one point making half of all wool blankets in America. Now, a century and a half later, the mill is focusing on its future by celebrating its 150th anniversary and introducing new products like the “Grey Label” collection (line of scarves woven entirely from premium merino wool) and launching the digital “Memory Mill.” The Memory Mill tool will be introduced later this summer, and will give customers a new digital experience that will allow them to share their experiences and memories with future generations.

As Minnesota’s oldest manufacturer, Faribault Woolen Mill is one of the only fully integrated woolen mills in America. Through five generations of family ownership, the mill was only closed once in 2009. However, after being revived in 2011, the mill experienced resurgence with success at many retailers throughout America and partnerships with high-profile brands and retailers like Target and Nordstrom.

The woolen mill has decided to recommit to its roots by adding new patterns and details to their original products — wool blankets, throws and scarves. It will also be expanding its selection of pillows and will begin offering its capes and vests to all retailers. Later this year, Faribault Woolen Mill will also be introducing the limited edition “Pak-a-Robe.” This stadium blanket, which will be available in three styles, will be a revival of one the mill’s historic favorites.

“We're excited to provide our customers with a breadth of new products that are even more coordinated, cohesive and sophisticated — while maintaining all of the things that define Faribault and have built our reputation for a century and a half," said Bruce Bildsten, chief marketing officer at Faribault Woolen Mill in a recent statement. “These new products build off our past 150 years, while positioning us for the next 150."