american woolen company textile mill ct
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Stafford Springs

Vintage Photos Courtesy of the Stafford Historical Society

Conveniently situated between New York and Boston, Stafford Springs served as an important destination for the design and manufacture of fine cloth for over 150 years. It was originally settled in 1719 and by 1765, the town was famous for its natural mineral springs. After the Revolution, visitors came from all over the world to drink the iron and sulphur waters.

Through the 19th and 20th centuries, the Warren and Cyril Johnson mills crafted premium worsted and woolen fabrics that were sold directly to regional garment manufacturers and mills. The fabrics represented the finest in New England traditions, and the garment manufacturers crafted these fabrics into heirloom pieces that lasted lifetimes. Located in and around town centers, the mills supported the town and the town supported the mills.  Producers and consumers dined at the same table, regional traditions were respected and people took pride in consuming local production. In 1974, 92% of apparel consumed in America was made in America. 

Stafford Springs CT Main Street
Cyril Johnson Mill 1930s-1940s

Toward the end of the 20th century, a successive wave of trade liberalization policies wiped out restrictions and duties on textiles and apparel. As European and Asian textiles and apparel flooded into America, the domestic textile and apparel industry floundered. A multi-billion dollar industry that required multiple generations to build took a few decades to fall apart. By 2014, just 2% of apparel consumed in America was made in America.

stafford springs connecticut historic mill

In 2014, American Woolen reopened the Warren and Cyril Johnson mills to restore fine textile manufacturing to greater New England and build Stafford Springs into a destination for fine worsted and woolen goods.

Stafford Springs today, a quintessential New England town. American Woolen Company is perpetually inspired by its flora and fauna, its rich history, and its growing community. 

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