84 Underpass Road
After operating as an ecommerce company since 2013, on December 3, 2022, Sonoma Wool Company opened our first retail store in Brewster, Massachusetts on Cape Cod! You’ll find us at 84 Underpass Road, with plenty of parking. Along with selling our high quality US Made wool products, we wanted to have a place where people can come and learn all about wool, and why you should use it in your home, in place of plastics and synthetics.
How Did Sonoma Wool Company, which began in Valley Ford, California, end up in Brewster, Massachusetts?
A simple answer would be – New England is where many of the last remaining wool mills are in the United States! As Sonoma Wool Company grew, we needed to scale up production, and we wanted to be closer to where our products would be manufactured. We found some wonderful people operating these mills, and love supporting the viability of the wool industry!
The First Fulling Mill in the US
A more interesting answer might be --– Brewster is where the first commercial wool mill was ever built in the United States – how cool is that?! You see, many of the early New England villages had small wool fulling mills, constructed on creeks to use the energy of the water to power the mill.
It was 1665, when Brewster’s first wool mill was built. In those days, families had small flocks of sheep, and the women would hand card, spin and weave the wool into cloth. They then brought their homespun woolen cloth to the small local mills to be “fulled” (cleaned and shrunk) so it could be sewn into family clothing and other uses. One hundred years later, the fulling mill in Brewster burned to the ground and women had to travel to other villages to have their cloth fulled.
In 1814, as our nation continued to grow, the Winslow family recognized a demand and built a woolen mill on the fulling mill foundation and produced the first factory-made woolen cloth in America! (Today, the restored Grist Mill is open during the Summer months, here in Brewster, where visitors from all over the world can come and see a Grist Mill in action.)