Chargeurs Luxury Materials is a Chargeurs business. | Chargeurs Wool (USA) Inc. is a Chargeurs Luxury Materials company.

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From farm to factory to feet
From farm to factory to feet

It ain't always easy to support American products, jobs, and traditions with your outdoor gear purchases. So much of our gear comes—at least in part—from overseas. But you could start by buying Farm to Feet socks, made from wool that was 100 percent grown, sheared, baled, scoured, carded, super washed, spun, and knit right here in the U.S. of A. There’s a place, way down east in Jamestown, South Carolina, where wild wool goes to get scoured, spiffed up, and ready for a transformation. It’s a factory on the banks of a river, and it smells like a potent cocktail of farm animals and grease. It’s called Chargeurs Wool USA, and its a long way from where the wool started its journey. That was a soaring, sagebrush-smelling, charming Old West sheep shearing camp in a place called Hay Hollow, Wyoming. Over two short days, in the wind and sun, 2,000-plus western-bred Rambouillet sheep farted their way into a mobile sheep-shearing “plant,” where an Uruguayan shearing team relieved them of their fleeces. The wool—all 45,000 pounds—then traveled in bales on a flatbed truck southeast, across the country. Twenty, 30, or maybe 50 hours later, it ended up at the only wool washing and processing plant in America, Chargeurs, along the Santee River.

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Still in Our Fiber: S.C. Wool Facility Shows Textile Industry’s Persistence
Still in Our Fiber: S.C. Wool Facility Shows Textile Industry’s Persistence

Trevor Goodwin of Andrews, South Carolina, is using an overhead hook on a motorized track to pick up bulging cloth packages and maneuver them into position. He cuts and tears open the packages, which are full of raw wool — fleeces shorn from sheep in the Western U.S. In its raw state, the wool is speckled with twigs and dirt and drenched with lanolin, the natural oily wax that sheep produce to protect and waterproof their wool. In fact, the entire massive warehouse smells of lanolin — an earthy, comforting, animal smell, like putting your face in the fur of your favorite dog. Goodwin’s job is one of the first steps in processing raw wool — greasy wool, as they call it here — into the gleaming white combed wool, called “wool top,” that is the Chargeurs Wool USA factory’s main product. Wool top is used by spinning mills to spin worsted yarn, which can then be knitted or woven into various fabrics. This huge factory in Jamestown — a tiny town in Berkeley County, an hour from Charleston and two hours from Columbia — processes up to 50 percent of the roughly 26 million pounds of wool shorn from U.S. sheep in any given year. And it’s the only wool top-making facility in the country.

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Army Develops Wool-Blend, Flame-Resistant Uniform
Army Develops Wool-Blend, Flame-Resistant Uniform

U.S. Army researchers want to improve the service’s flame-resistant, protective apparel by developing a U.S.-manufactured, wool-blend uniform. The Army has developed a wool-blend uniform composed of 50 percent wool, 42 percent Nomex, 5 percent Kevlar and 3 percent P140 antistatic fiber, according to a recent Army press release. One goal of textile research and development effort is to create a flame-resistant combat uniform made solely from domestic materials, said Carole Winterhalter, a textile technologist with the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. This research may provide an opportunity to meet this objective. “We have a lightweight fabric that is inherently flame resistant; no topical treatments are added to provide FR,” Winterhalter said. “We are introducing a very environmentally friendly and sustainable fiber to the combat uniform system. We don’t have other wool-based fabrics in the system right now. This is a brand new material.”...

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Lowcountry Proud: Chargeurs Wool, U.S.A. in Berkeley County
Lowcountry Proud: Chargeurs Wool, U.S.A. in Berkeley County

This week, we are highlighting some of the many things in Berkeley County that makes us Lowcountry Proud. We are spotlighting a manufacturing plant you may have never heard of, but you may have used or seen someone using their product over the years. Chargeurs Wool, U.S.A. turns raw wool into wool top, a product used to make yarn and other products. The company sits just off highway 45 in Jamestown. Just off highway 45 in Jamestown sits the last of it's kind. Chargeurs Wool USA is the last company in the United States manufacturing wool top. Since 1955, raw wool has come into the warehouse from farmers located here in the U-S. Diego Paullier has been the plant manager for the last 10 years. He says the wool comes in from “different ranches and farms all around the country. And we scour the wool, process the wool and make what we call the wool top.”

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