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About an hour out of Boston's hustle and bustle is a blanket company bringing manufacturing back to Fall River, a city loaded with textile history but long dormant. Rick Lotuff founded the aptly named American Blanket Company on memories of working in his father's local women's sportswear factory sweeping floors and cutting fabrics. After building a successful blanket business on an import model, Lotuff was compelled to bring operations back to southern Massachusetts and create jobs while producing the best practical blankets possible at friendly price points under $100.
A visit to the old mill which houses the company's operations turns up several employees hand cutting and sewing high quality fabrics for styles ranging from baby quilts with seam details to bed-sized throws that trump the average fleece. Lotuff notes that these brushed and sheared fleeces are impossible to come by in the states, and until the entire production line jumps the ocean, his team must search worldwide for fabrics that fit his quality criteria.
So exactly how good are the blankets? A lifetime guarantee ensures they won't pill or tear, and experience shows they can withstand years in the washing machine without lint. The Luster Loft finish is said to be the "evolution of blankets," though any of the other finishes are also welcome on our bed. Babies can experience American Blanket Company too, with quilts making the perfect gift for any approaching showers—you can trust it to withstand several birthdays to come (even the terrible twos).
To encourage a business as thriving as the Fall River mills in the 1970s, a need for municipal support is necessary—and lucky for Lotuff, he has it. Where would he like to see the company? Expanding the current space and adding a retail component. As the local movement enters the mainstream, the blankets will quickly become a welcome alternative to those at the big box stores. Sure, they aren't a glamorous purchase, but we'd argue blankets are a universal need. In the words of Rick Lotuff, "People need something to feel good about."
· American Blanket Company [Official Site]