Made in Connecticut: American Woolen Company
Each month, we profile a Connecticut manufacturer, showcasing the ingenuity and innovation driving the state’s economy. For September, we spoke with American Woolen Company, Inc. president Jacob Harrison Long. The company is located in Stafford Springs.
When was your company founded?
Although American Woolen was founded in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1899, our Stafford Springs’ mill dates back to 1841.
How many employees work for your company?
What products does your company manufacture? Who are your customers?
American Woolen is a Connecticut-based designer and manufacturer of fine worsted and luxurious woolen cloth.
More than fine textile manufacturing, American Woolen considers itself a creator of New England inspired textile content.
The future of American Woolen involves opening an in-house garment manufacturing activity to create America’s first wool textile/apparel ecosystem.
American Woolen sells its fine wool, cashmere, mohair, and alpaca fabrics to apparel retailers including J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, and Stormy Kromer, along with the U.S. Army.
The company also sells to domestic contract upholstery manufacturers.
Why did you choose manufacturing?
I did not choose manufacturing, but rather the passion of fine textile manufacturing found me.
If the door you open leads to more doors and those doors lead to more doors, you have made a good career choice.
What makes your company unique?
There are a few things that make our company unique. First, is our dedication to preserve and strengthen the craftsmanship of fine textile manufacturing in New England. It is both science and art.
Next is our dedication to strengthening the economic and social fabric of Stafford Springs. We are here because the town is here. We take that very seriously.
Why did you choose Connecticut?
Our mill was built in Connecticut in 1841.
What is the greatest advantage to operating in Connecticut?
Our greatest advantage to operating in Connecticut involves Connecticut’s role in greater New England.
The world does not need more mills pumping out commodity products, but the world does need better stories and the New England story is very powerful.
Where do you see your company in five years? Ten years?
American Woolen is working to put more domestic wool into people’s lives.
Knowing that 78% of America’s wool goes to China to be manufactured into commodity apparel, my five and ten year goals involve keeping more of America’s wool in America! We play an important role in that equation.
What’s the main thing policymakers could implement to make your company more competitive?
Policymakers need to consider innovative ways to stimulate public/private investment partnerships in the reshoring of critical industries.
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