Saturday, September 4, 2010

Faribault and Why Shift Matters

I just came across this wonderful Faribault 100% wool blanket and scooped it up for a mere $2.00. Just as the Civil War was ending a German immigrant and cabinet maker Carl Klemer founded the company in 1865. Starting with a carding machine powered by horses on a treadmill Klemer's company supplied blankets to the Army, military, airlines and department stores. Faribault had been listed as one of our nation's oldest family owned businesses. A change in the trade laws about 10 years ago have made it almost impossible for our textile industries to compete with cheap labor overseas. Faribault was just another casualty in that shift.

These blankets are a reminder to the demise of the American Textile Industry. The last great hold out for quality American made woolen blankets shut their doors in 2009. Over 200,000 U.S. textile workers have lost their jobs since 2003.

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