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The Backstory: Duckworth

Fine American Wool

Full video 1:55


Grown-Spun-Knit-Sewn—Made in USA

Montana Grown

Duckworth is a Montana story—the result of a chance meeting between Robert Bernthal, a wool apparel industry veteran, and John Helle, a third-generation Montana sheep rancher. Robert was tired of sourcing wool and manufacturing from the other side of the globe, and John was tired of selling his high quality wool into a supply chain with no idea of where it would go or what it would become. They hatched the idea for a completely vertical, source-verified wool company, where the entire process from sheep to finished product would take place within US borders.

The Sheep: Helle Rambouillet Merino

On a 25,000-acre ranch near Dillon, Montana, John Helle oversees one of the largest flocks of fine wool sheep in the US. The breed, Rambouillet merino, is renowned for its itch-free softness. But that’s only half the story. Helle’s sheep are raised on mountain pasture at 9500 feet above sea level. The dry, hot summers and freezing winters create a superior fiber with more loft, crimp, and bounce than the merino wool sourced from New Zealand. This gives the textiles natural elasticity and strength. All Duckworth products are made exclusively with wool shorn from John Helle’s sheep.

100% American from Sheep to Shelf

All Duckworth wool is sourced from John Helle’s Montana-raised Rambouillet merino sheep. The wool is then shipped to the Carolinas where it’s spun to yarn, knit into fabrics, and sewn to become fine wool clothing. This 100% American, source-verified supply chain is unique, and it removes more than 20,000 miles of travel from the typical wool supply chain. Duckworth is the only wool clothing company to have its entire supply chain within the US.

All Natural, High Performance Textiles

Superior raw wool deserves to become a superior material, so Robert Bernthal called in the help of Graham Stewart, a world-renowned wool textile expert. Stewart has worked with the knitters and sewers in the Carolinas to produce a range of textiles that are on par with, if not superior to, the best wool textiles in the world. Duckworth’s textiles range from the Micro-Rib 125, a fabric that’s barely perceptible against the skin, to the innovative Quattro Waffle that Duckworth believes is one of the lightest, warmest fabrics in existence.

Actions Not Words

Duckworth’s objective is to “resurrect the lost art and craft of American wool.” Duckworth’s motto, Acta Non Verba (Actions Not Words), captures the founding spirit the brand is built on. Not only does it apply to the 100% American, source-verified supply chain, but also to the people for whom the product is made. Duckworth is for people who work hard and play hard, earning their stripes outside, walking the walk instead of just talking the talk. Duckworth is for people who know the value of authenticity.