Stafford textile mill featured on Fox TV show Monday night | Stafford

STAFFORD – Local textile manufacturer American Woolen Company is set to be featured on an episode of television host Mike Rowe’s show, “How America Works,” that will air Monday night at 8 pm on the FOX Business Network.

Rowe’s show “takes an in-depth look at the skilled workforce across the country and the complicated systems that keep our infrastructure operational,” featuring businesses across the country in numerous industries, according to a news release.

“American Woolen is still standing because they understand that working smart is not a substitute for working hard,” Rowe says in the episode, adding: “They’re working today with a unique mix of modern technology and traditional methods that’s allowing them to churn. out the best textiles money can buy in the same building that’s been standing right there on Furnace Avenue for the last 168 years. ”

American Woolen Company’s CEO Jacob Harrison Long said Friday that they were contacted by the show’s producers last year, and the episode was filmed in late December.

“We’re very excited that Mike Rowe and his crew are highlighting not only American Woolen, but the greater New England Textile industry,” Long said, adding that he is glad the show will focus on employees instead of the company’s management.

“We always say, it’s not the machines that make the fiber, it’s the operators who make the fiber,” Long said.

American Woolen Company dates back to 1899, and exists in a mill building that dates back to 1841. A hundred years ago it was the world’s largest wool company, Long said, and maintained 63 mills while employing 40,000 people across New England.

Now though, Long said, “times have changed,” and many mills across New England have closed.

Long bought the company’s trademark in 2013, and then bought the mill complex in 2014, ushering in the new modernized version of American Woolen. The rest is history.

“There are no smoke and mirrors about it, it’s the real thing,” Long said Friday. Currently, American Woolen produces worsted and luxurious woolen fabrics for apparel, interiors and craft.

Recently, the company began shipping fabrics to the US Army, as well as some of the houses that sell clothing with its fabrics, including J Crew, Rag and Bone, and Hickey Freeman.

“We’re operators and technicians making gorgeous fabric in the northeast corner of Connecticut,” Long said, adding that he was glad to be featured on Rowe’s show.

“I think it’s just good for us, it’s good for Stafford Springs, it’s good for Tolland County, and it’s good for Connecticut,” Long said.

Ben covers Coventry and Tolland for the Journal Inquirer.

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