Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

In the heat of summer, this American-made company will make you want to wrap up anyway.

This story starts with Rick Lotuff, a man who drew on an expertise in textiles and apparel to found Berkshire Blankets. After selling his company he came to realize the American manufacturing sector, especially in textiles, is not what it used to be. In his next business venture, Lotuff wanted to create blankets that were even more versatile than Berkshire’s, but this time … made 100 percent in the United States.

In 2012, American Blanket Company (ABC) opened in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lotuff’s new business makes blankets, bed linens, scarfs, and more that are made of various threads produced in nearby New Bedford, and cotton from across the United States including Texas. With about 10,000 units that are produced and sold annually in the US.

When asked how the company came about setting their products apart from the competition, ABC’s marketing representative, Chad Peters, kept it simple.

“Blankets have and always will be sources of warmth and security,” he said. “It is a universal product that the whole family can enjoy, customers can rest assured that love was put into each product from start to end.”

Because Lotuff and his company strive for full transparency in the work that they do, we were given a step-by-step analysis of how its blankets are made.

  1. All threads and fabric are measured and cut everyday by hand on the factory floor.
  2. Each product is sewn by use of American-made Merrow Sewing Machines (that’s something that ABC prides themselves on: working with other Made In America businesses).
  3. Then all products go through a quality check (ABC vacuums its products to ensure no shedding).
  4. Depending on the order, it then goes to the personalization department where you can customize your blanket to any size, color, or even opt to have it embroidered.

Like any other business, American Blanket Company has its challenges. Despite $1.3 million dollars in annual revenue from retail, wholesale, and corporate orders, cost is often king, and there is a strong pull on companies to keep those costs down – often by outsourcing production overseas. ​

But Lotuff and his associates firmly believe that when customers purchase an ABC product, they’re paying for quality, made with love, and Made In America. Buying from ABC means you are investing in 22 Americans who work there. 

Inside American Blanket Company’s wholesale division, products are sold online and in local specialty stores near New River, Massachusetts. As part of a new marketing venture to increase exposure, ABC is currently working on future business relationships with home shopping networks, such as QVC. If you are in the market for a quality blanket for a baby, pet, or any occasion to stay warm, order yours today!