In 1999, after more than 125 years of selling wool as a commodity, the ranch began a successful transition to selling ecologically produced wool yarns, textiles, clothing and home goods to eco-chic fashion and retail markets. Similar to the farm-to-fork “slow food” movement that reconnects us to our food, the Carvers evolved to leaders in what Jeanne Carver called a ranch-to-runway “slow wear” movement, reconnecting us to the source of fibers we wear and use. Through their efforts in value-added fiber marketing and a commitment to American manufacturing, Imperial Stock Ranch found itself at the forefront of an economic and rural revival in America, and quickly becoming known as a “Farmer’s Market of Textiles.”
What underlies this textile program, is the stewardship of relationships between sunlight, soil, grasses and grazing animals, resulting in a harvest of beautiful high quality wool. The Imperial Stock Ranch is known for its strong resource conservation and humane livestock ethic (lst ranch certified under the Responsible Wool Standard). Then the harvest is transformed entirely within the USA, into wool yarns and fabrics, connecting the origin and path from soil to finished goods, directly to the customer.
The Imperial Stock Ranch wool efforts grew into multiple market channels, and continues to draw interest from designers and brands looking for traceable and responsibly produced wool fiber. These efforts have provided increased opportunities for other regional fiber producers, supporting American family farms and ranches, as well as strengthening American textile processing and manufacturing.
The work of Imperial Stock Ranch in collaboration with designers and brands, has been bridging rural heritage and urban style, traditional craft and high fashion for more than 20 years. Pictured below are images from the 2014 Imperial Collection designed by Portland Fashion Designer Anna Cohen.
With the increasing demands of growth complicated by family health challenges, the Carvers made the difficult decision to sell their value-added fiber and textile business in late 2015. The Imperial Yarn business was sold to new ownership and began operating entirely separate from Imperial Stock Ranch. Today, there is no relationship between Imperial Stock Ranch and Imperial Yarn.