Last weekend, on September 11th, 2010, leather goods manufacturer, J. W. Hulme Co, and tie maker, Pierrepont Hicks, organized a small trade show for menswear products made in the USA called NORTHERN GRADE. Among the exhibitors were well known companies like the boot giant Red Wing and people like Walker Lamond, author of the book 1001 rules for my unborn son. Smaller companies like Baldwin jeans, Freeman bicycles and Duluth Pack were also present.
The exhibitors offered products ranging from shoes, soaps, belts, buckles, and paper to ties, leather goods, bicycles and jeans. However, my personal favorite was a blanket from the small company, fur armor. Located in Bemidji, a small town in Minnesota close to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, they produce extremely plush beaver fur blankets. It is much softer than any cashmere or vicuna product I have ever felt! In order to achieve such a wonderful texture, the long guard hair is “plucked” (removed) first and the remaining fine under hair is shaved, giving it a velvety look. It takes about 12 beavers in order to make a blanket like the one in the picture. Of course, this luxury does not come at a discount price, but fur armor uses only the best North American beaver fur pelts. Each animal is sustainably and legally trapped by the owner, John Mueller.
Other than that, I met a bunch of interesting people and had a great time altogether.
Enjoy the pictures!