We want to revitalize this basic human need. We can do it by bringing back domestic small-batch fabric manufacturing. We can do it by sourcing domestically and sustainably. From the rancher or farmer to the end consumer every link in the chain should be sourcing as locally and sustainably as they can. We can revitalize this basic human need by actively considering the message we send with every dollar spent.
Your contribution will have a direct impact on the growth of Huston Textile Company, which in turn supports independently owned domestic ranchers, farmers, spinners, twisters, and dyers as our supply chain collaborators. Your contribution is an active message that you support American businesses that are making a difference.
A successful campaign will allow Huston Textile to pay for basic operation costs while we secure additional funding. The additional funding will allow us to firmly root our business with stable output and prices. This campaign is vital to bridge us to closing the additional funding.
Huston Textile is a small family owned weaving mill in Mather, just outside of Sacramento, California, filled with vintage machinery and a library of manuals and texts from the late 1800s through the 1950s. The office space gives way to the soul of our operation where the looms’ rhythmic noise pulsates like a beating heart.
The owner and weaver for Huston Textile is Ryan Huston. Ryan was born in Sacramento but moved to Salt Lake City, Utah as a young child. He spent much of his childhood going back and forth from Sacramento to Salt Lake City to be with family. After high school he served in the United States Army for nine years. Ultimately, it was impossible to ignore the lure of being close to family, and he made the move back to Sacramento.
Ryan started making baby wraps in 2013 after a disappointing search to find something that was made well and made locally for his newly born daughter. Ryan explained, “I’m tired of relying on big corporations and I’m tired of overseas manufacturing.” Not finding anything he liked led him to take matters into his own hands and say, “I’ll just make it myself.” Soon after in October 2014, Huston Textile was born.
Marrying textiles and machinery seemed like a natural fit for Ryan. His mother, a seamstress with a degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising, showed him how to sew at an early age and he has “always been interested in old American machinery.” When asked why he chose textiles, he replied, “There are a lot more uses with textile machinery. There’s something about making fabric that is not known – there are a lot of variables in it that you can’t really anticipate. Textiles, especially weaving, is an art where you have to know the end, work your way backwards, and then do it. You can’t make it up as you go. It has to be really thought out and planned. There’s enough variance in it to make it interesting.”
Huston Textile uses mostly Draper looms built in the 1960s to produce mid-weight cloth. The looms are an intermediate step between handlooms and modern industrial looms. Our looms produce what’s called “selvedge fabric” or fabric with finished edges that can be incorporated into the outerwear or seam of a garment, thus reducing waste. In one day a loom can produce roughly 62 yards of fabric or about 18,000 yards per year and that is just from one loom. Imagine the possibility of Ryan’s long term goals to cultivate and nurture enough support for local cloth to sustain several looms running at full capacity.
“We believe in making a better future and part of that is working with domestic, sustainable, organic, and climate beneficial fibers. We work with domestic farmers to bring their fibers through the system to produce an American made and sourced fabric. Which can then be made into beautiful works of art as finished products.” – Ryan Huston
We collaborate and source directly from independently owned and family-owned farms and ranches. We source wool from Bare Ranch who is restoring their grazed range lands and farmland to sequester an additional 109,841 metric tons of CO2e within the course of implementing their Carbon Farm Plan. Our value added processing secures 130 acres of land in organic cotton production.
Promo Short Film for Huston Textile Company by Ted Weldon. Piano by Wilbert Jones.
What we have achieved so far is immeasurable in our eyes. But let us give you a peek into the amazing things that have been made from the fabrics we have woven.
Climate Beneficial Wool
In 2016 Huston Textile began working with Fibershed and Lani’s Lana to weave Climate Beneficial Wool, the first cloth of its kind. The fabric was sold to over 100 independent makers, some of which participated in the 2017 Fibershed Fashion Gala. Using the Climate Beneficial Wool warp we were also able to make Union Cloth. Union Cloth is a fabric in which the warp and weft are of different fibers. We were also able to make Community Supported Cloth with hand spun weft from local farmers.
Our Car Curtain (also known as Shade Cloth) fabrics are a recreation of 1907 fabric construction. This fabric has been made into many beautiful items and one our favorites is from our friend Matt at Flint Outdoors.
Our Army Duck is the recreation of the army duck canvas first used in 1877 for Army Field Packs. It is a heavy weight, single cloth fabric, made from all cotton yarns. Army Duck has a stiff feel and is principally used for water tight applications.
Our Chambray is a recreation from a 1927 construction. It is a light-weight, single cloth fabric, that is always woven with a plain weave and always has white selvedges. In effect, it is a cloth having but one color in the warp and woven with a natural filling.
The Full Moon Project Bag is an example of our collaboration with a local retailer. A Verb for Keeping Warm sells this kit featuring our chambray as well as many other kits and fabrics by the yard from Huston Textile. A Verb for Keeping Warm Full Moon Project Bag
Denim is a strong medium-weight single cloth fabric. It is usually made with a small, uneven-sided twill weave. Denim is a stout, twilled fabric, having excellent wearing qualities. Historically the selvage of denim fabric was a solid natural color. When we decided to make denim we wanted to recreate the fabric as close to historically accurate as we could. We used plant dyed indigo and organic cotton which became the first denim of it’s kind woven in California. A dear friend of Huston Textile made a pair of jeans for our daughter from the first cut of the denim.
Pincheck has a very small check effect woven into the fabric made by a combination of weave and color. This fabric is similar to weight and feel to our Chambray.
A little bit of information about our rewards:
The Mention - With a successful campaign we will give recognition to you on our website support page, for making it possible for us to continue working on this amazing adventure.
Thank You - You will receive a postcard from the Huston Textile team with a message of gratitude for your contribution. Every little bit helps making a difference.
The 8x10 - You will receive a signed 8x10 image of one of our Draper Looms with a message of gratitude for your contribution.
The Swatch - This is a swatch from Lani’s Lana Climate Beneficial wool warp and west Texas organic cotton weft.
The Hat - This reward is a hat with the embroidered Huston Textile logo.
The Pin bag - Vintage style clothes pin bag pattern including fabric, buttons, label, and hanger. Sewing and thread required. An example of what the bag will look like once you sew it all up can be seen below
The Class - Want to learn how to sew The Pin Bag? With this reward you can take a class to sew it with the designer. Broken into 2 groups of 5.
The Mendacino Skirt - We will work with you and Mendocino Wool and Fiber to have a skirt made for you from our Car Curtain. The current pattern Sarah has made offers small and medium sizes.
The Backer's Only Tour - Tour will be for 1 person, if you would like to include a guest with this reward please let Kat know when she contacts you to set up the tour. We will work with everyone who choses this reward to create small groups for coming to our mill on a day and time that works for you. You will get to come to our mill to see our equipment and our process for making fabrics. (Approximatly 1.5 hours)
The Car Curtain 5, 10, 15 or , 20 - You will receive the selected amount of yards of Car Curtain canvas made with West Texas Organic Cotton. You can see an example of what can be made from the car curtain above where we discuss our fabric types.
The Private Tour - You will receive a tour with the selected amount of guests per reward description. The tour will give you and your guests the opportunity to have a more intimate tour of our facility and see what happens behind our barn doors.
The Luncheon - After your tour you will go to lunch with Ryan and have an opportunity to pick his brain about all his fabric, ask what inspires him, or just sit down and have a few laughs.
Dedication on Support Page - We will not only mention you on the support page, but write a dedication to the contribution you have made towards making changes happen in our society.
The Shuttle - We will give you a shuttle with your name on it.
The Loom – We will name one of our looms after you or a person's name of your choosing.
A Big Thank You to - Valerie Yep, Rebecca Burgess, Jess Daniels and Scott Ragsdale for assisting in the narrative; and a big thank you to A Verb For Keeping Warm, Kiss the Ground, Ted Weldon, Paige Green, Keha Mcllwaine , and our customers for the media we used in our KickStarter Campaign. We could not have gotten here without you and your help.
Risks and challenges
Scheduling the tour rewards of the campaign will be a good challenge. It can be hard to schedule things with my own family. Scheduling tours with multiple peoples schedules will put us to the test.
The tangible or digital reward items are fairly easy and straight forward as they can be done in batches.
Our biggest risk and challenge will be getting the additional funding that this campaign will be bridging us to.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (26 days)