Founded in 1927, the Ohio Knitting Mills grew to become one of the largest knitwear manufacturers in the United States. The mill famously produced private label knitwear for iconic department stores from Sears to Saks, and hundreds of revered labels like Pendleton, Van Heusen, and Jack Winter.
The company was at the center of Cleveland, Ohio’s thriving garment industry. A family business, three generations of the Stone-Rand family operated the company for 76 years. At its peak, the Ohio Knitting Mills factory took up almost an entire city block, and employed over 1,000 workers. However, like so many other American garment manufacturers, Ohio Knitting Mills eventually succumbed to the shrinking of their industry. By the beginning of the 21st century, they had sold most of their machinery and equipment. Fortunately for us, the company saved samples of each style they produced and put them into storage. Designer Steven Tatar met the Stone-Rand family in 2005, who shared with him their treasured time capsule of American fashion and industrial craftsmanship.
This unique archive from the 1940-70’s includes sweaters for men, women and children, 1,000’s of swatches of the mill’s distinctive fabrics, original hand illustrations of the collections from the, and decades of photographs documenting three quarters of a century of manufacturing. Since 2006, Steven has been sharing the story of Ohio Knitting Mills, and today is once again producing American-made modern knitwear for a new generation.