It’s easy to bemoan the death of American manufacturing, but much harder to go and discover historic facilities that still exist.

That’s exactly what Bill Thomas did when he set out to produce an American-made Shetland sweater and made an illuminating discovery.

“When we set out to introduce a fully fashioned American-made Shetland sweater, we questioned whether it was still possible,” reads the Bills Khakis website. “So we were astounded by our discovery of a water-powered brick mill in a small town in New Hampshire that has been spinning Shetland yarns continuously since 1794.”

Harrisville Designs is the current manufacturing incarnation of Harrisville, a milling village that was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Its current owners continue to spin woolens on antique equipment.

Just how rare is Harrisville? It’s truly the last of its kind. “It is recognized as the only 18th-century textile village in America that survives in its original form,” declares Harrisville Designs.

Called the New England Shetland, the sweater comes in a saddle-shouldered crewneck cut and with a suggested retail price of $225.

“This might be the only fully fashioned American-made Shetland sweater in the world,” Thomas told Ivy Style. “I can’t be positive, but I never expected to be able to pull this off.” — CC

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