Like any true-blue Montana brand, Duckworth was founded on a local ski hill – a ski lift, to be precise. Those fateful conversations between runs formed the cornerstones of our ethos and mission to create versatile Merino Wool products made exclusively in the USA with Montana-grown wool. Using best-in-the-world- quality Merino Wool – produced by our co-founders and fourth- generation sheep ranchers, The Helle Family from Dillon, Montana – our apparel is designed for superior performance with stewardship, sustainability and American-made craftsmanship at front of mind.
The Helles have worked their land and in similar fashion across four generations. It’s a rite of passage for the family, a carrying of a torch and a legacy that still champions early mornings, late nights, incredible unchanged vistas, and the gritty dedication of The Helles themselves. The end result? A Merino Wool that is soft, yet incredibly durable, boasting unparalleled loft and breathability – a reflection of their dedication and hard-earned expertise.
Operating on a mixture of public and private lands within the remote and rugged wilds of Southwest Montana, at elevations spanning 5,000′ to 9,500′, The Helles keep conservation and sustainability at the forefront of their management. The family has channeled these customs into Duckworth, an honest Montana brand imbued with that history, care, and generationally bolstered expertise. It’s a reality found in every stitch of our premium, source-verified, American-made garments fashioned from the best wool in the world. And our apparel is built with The Helles in mind – if a piece of Duckworth clothing can survive the intense demands of a Montana ranch, it can survive anything.
AMERICAN-ONLY SUPPLY CHAIN
Duckworth’s Sheep-to-Shelf™ process instills mindfulness in every step of the supply chain. Starting at the Helle ranch in Dillon, Montana, our open-range Montana Merino sheep live at high elevations and temps ranging from -40 to over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, grazing on natural grasses and Montana wildflowers found on remote mountainsides.
The unpredictable and rugged conditions of the Northern Rockies result in a rare Merino Wool: an incredibly soft, yet durable, fiber with exceptional loft and breathability thanks to an unparalleled degree of “crimp” within the fleece.
It’s also there, on our ranch, that every single shorn Merino Wool fleece is graded for quality (and thus selected for its end use). Then, we spin those choice fibers into a proprietary yarn: Spinning, knitting, and dyeing is part science and part art, requiring specialized know-how, trusted American partners, and the steady hand of Montanan sheep ranching heritage. Finished fabrics then move on to facilities across the Eastern Seaboard and Midwest, finished into garments by seasoned pros with American-borne know-how.
Deep understanding of the manufacturing process allows us to find opportunities for innovation at every stage of development, resulting in breakthrough proprietary wool products and practices, such as our ultralight Vapor Wool and Maverick fabrics, ultra-soft-yet-durable Powder fabric, and WoolCloud insulation.
Although the U.S. textile industry has been on the decline for decades, with competitors seeking cheaper and more environmentally damaging opportunities overseas, our Sheep to Shelf™ supply chain brings jobs back to small American communities, keeps technical knowledge close to home, and assures maximum life cycle sustainability.