art

Touring the Faribault Textile Mill

Army Green Spools of Wool A couple weeks ago, I was invited to Minneapolis (more on that trip here) to tour the Faribault textile mill. I have to say, this was such an inspirational place and if you followed along on Snapchat (@sar.gibs) you probably laughed at me totally nerding out. I’ve always been incredibly interested in textiles, taking weaving, dying, and fiber art courses in college- this trip perfectly translated and affirmed my love for the trade. Here’s an insiders peek into the factory that has been cranking out beautifully made textiles since the 1800s. It’s nothing short of amazing! I definitely came home with a carry-on stuffed full of wool products. If you’re looking for classic accessories and interior textile inspiration, this is it. 

Faribault Mill Who knew less than an hour outside of Minneapolis this gem exists? The historic industrial building was fascinating enough, but once I stepped inside and laid hands on throws, blankets, and scarfs, it was game over. I really tried to capture the texture and convey the touch and feel throughout this post. Most of the textiles coming out of Faribault are super luxe. I hope that translates throughout the imagery!

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Patterned Woven Throw I adore the gorgeous, quality products this facility produces. However, what I love even more than the designer blankets and throws are the values of this company. Everything is sourced and made right here in America. That’s pretty rare these days- especially in the textile industry. Based on my knowledge (which is actually quite a bit given my weaving background), the process at Faribault isn’t dissimilar to the traditional handmade way.

All About Sheep Book

Raw Wool Without completing boring you… here’s a quick synopsis: wool is sheared from sheep, cleaned and hand carded, placed into large vats and dyed, then it’s spun into roving, the roving is twisted in yarn and wound around spools, it’s then warped on a loom and is woven into beautiful fabrics. From there it is washed, napped, and fringed. The end result is a gorgeous, high-end, hand made piece of art that pretty much lasts forever.

Wool Spinning

Wool Roving

Textile Dying Process It’s really a beautiful process. Obviously I’m uber passionate about textiles and weaving, but I thought you guys would appreciate a behind-the-scenes look at how these blankets and throws are actually made. A lot of time goes into one product. It’s definitely a tradition and art that has withstood the test of time. There are fifth generation craftspeople hand looming these items- that’s super special, in my opinion.

Wool on Spools Ready for Weaving

Weaving

Textiles

Diagonal Stripe Pattern I’d describe Faribault’s designs as classic, traditional, and sophisticated. You’ll notice lots of timeless stripes, checks, tartan, and plaid, along with textural solids.

Plaid Pattern Tags Faribault manufacturers wool and cotton products for retailers most of us are familiar with: Ralph Lauren, Crate & Barrel, Cb2, and many more. I also have to brag on them for producing all of the blankets for the US military. They’ve been cranking out millions of blankets for over 100+ years for our military. I was raised in a very patriotic family full of military employed members. Despite our current political situation and differences, I will always support, respect, and thank our military and those who have served our country. To learn that Faribault is so active and has such a strong relationship with the army, navy, and even Westpoint speaks volumes to the character of the company.

Military Blankets The showroom was equally as intriguing. It was a tough decision figuring out what I should bring home, or what would fit in my suitcase. I was tempted to bring home something from their latest lightweight cotton collection- which would be great for spring. I also have a friend’s baby shower coming up, and thought this blanket would be perfect for a sweet little nursery…

Striped Blanket

Buffalo Check Blanket I knew I wanted a throw or bedding of some sort. These were some of my favorite items…

Faribault Favorites 01: pure & simple wool blanket // 02: weekender wool scarf // 03: herringbone wool scarf // 04: wool cape // 05: plaid wool log carrier // 06: trapper wool throw // 07: riveter anne pouch // 08: US military wool blanket // 09: weekender stripe throw

If you’re interested in more, check them out on Instagram. If you’re a Minnesota local, tours are available and you can also shop the showroom (to save on shipping).

Faribault Woolen Mill I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to discover this hidden gem and witness a little piece of history! Until next time, Faribault.

Liberté covered all travel expenses for me to attend this event; however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we truly use and enjoy! 

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  • Reply
    Paul Weinstein
    February 7, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Thank you for your kind words Sarah! It was fun having you visit “the mill”. This place is truly magical if I may say so myself.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      February 8, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit. Thanks again for a great experience, Paul!

  • Reply
    Brandi Pederson
    February 8, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I’m from MN and it was on my list of places I wanted to visit. On a trip home from Minneapolis last year, my husband was surprised when I took the Faribo exit and ended up at the mill. We were both charmed by the mill and the history. Additionally, they partnered with a nearby college (town my husband is from) to make beautiful blankets and scarves with wool from sheep from South Dakota. Love Faribault Woolen Mills.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      February 8, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      That’s so special, Brandi! It certainly is a charming place. Perfect timing on their collaboration with your husband’s college! What are the odds? xo

  • Reply
    Niki
    February 8, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    What a great trip, I loved this behind the scenes. Nice work.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      February 8, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      So glad you liked this one, Niki! xo

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