"You do all that here?" is a question we often get. "I have been coming to Frankenmuth for years and didn't know about this place" is another.
Our 126 year old woolen mill is not hidden from view. It is actually nestled in one of Michigan's most visited downtowns, Frankenmuth. With over 3 million visitors a year there is obviously a lot to see and do in our beautiful town so over looking one of the most historical spots in town isn't hard to do.
Founded in 1894 by Franz Ranke and George Grueber, the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill has seen and created its share of history. As Michigan's oldest, continuously operated woolen mill it continues to thrive. Using much of the original equipment, the company continues to manufacture quality, American made bedding.
The process of turning raw wool into beautiful bedding is one that is accomplished in 6 important steps. Much to the surprise of millions of visitors, and many locals, this process is illustrated in beautiful murals that grace the sides of the historic mill.
Raw wool is "picked" which is a process of opening up the wool fiber. The wool is put through a picker which opens the locks and blows the fluffy wool into a room where it is raked up and bagged.
Our process continues with the wool being cleaned with a biodegradable soap and washed and rinsed with water fresh from the Great Lakes, namely neighboring Lake Huron.
The now gleaming white wool is put in our antique extractor which spins the wool to remove excess water and prepare it for a 3 day trip to our drying room.
Once dried the wool is once again sent through the picking machine.
The pristine wool is then transferred on to our classic carding machines that use steam and humidity in place of often used chemicals. From these rolling relics come the layers of soft, healthy wool that is now ready to serve as the fluffy filling of your new wool bedding.
From the carding room, the wool is delivered upstairs to the Mill's finishing area. Here the wool is hand tied between layers of soft, GOTS Certified Organic cotton fabric. The Mill's professional finishers then take great care to hand place a tie approximately every nine inches. This insures that the wool stays in place and that your comforter or mattress topper is truly one of a kind.The edges of the bedding are then sewn and inspected before it is carefully folded ,bagged and awaiting prompt shipment to your home.
The Frankenmuth Woolen Mill has been perfecting this process for over 126 years. We invite you to come and see our working piece of history on your next visit to Michigan's Little Bavaria!