Vogue Knitting bolsters Imperial Knits' reputation
By Gretchen Holzgang
In business for well over a century, the Imperial Stock Ranch in Maupin is experiencing rapid growth with a focus on high-end knit fashion. Click on the image to see the ranch and what wool looks like on the runway.
For Imperial Knits Yarn, 2012 has shaped up to be a very busy year, and Dan and Jeanne Carver, owners of the Maupin-based Imperial Stock Ranch and the ranch’s yarn division, don’t have any plans of slowing down.
The ranch itself has been selling wool as commodity since 1871, long before the Carvers took ownership. In 1999, the Carvers switched from selling raw wool to selling the yarn products that are gaining recognition among the fashion and needlearts communities.
Starting in November 2008, the company enlisted Portland fashion designer Anna Cohen to design Imperial’s knitting patterns and kits. After an initial runway show in 2009, the 2011 line appeared on the runway at Portland Fashion Week to rave reviews.
“The income value today to the ranch from wool is 120 times what the income was generated by sales of raw wool as a commodity,” said Jeanne Carver. In 2010, the company reached six-figure sales of yarn in the hand knitting market alone. In 2011, that market saw a 250 percent growth.
In May, the ranch played host for the first time to a knitting retreat — called the Vogue Knitting LIVE! Destination Experience — produced in partnership with leading industry magazine Vogue Knitting.
|Visit Imperial Stock Ranch and see the progression from ranch to needle to runway by viewing the gallery.|
The weekend-long event included a stay on the ranch, tours of the property and local region, knitting classes with knitwear designer Nicky Epstein and a dinner by Hotel deLuxe’s Chef Mark Hosack featuring locally sourced ingredients — including beef and lamb from the Imperial ranch.
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