The year is 1983. Amidst recessions, hardships, and cut rate pricing, a blueprint is drawn: Two minds, four hands, and eight W-3 Knowles-Compton looms from the Industrial Revolution. Claudia Brahm and Noel Mount set values when creating one of the few remaining weaving operations in the United States. The seedbed created thirty years ago can be felt in each home good produced today, with a commitment to quality rooted deep into the company and profoundly soaked into each fiber.
Brahms Mount of Hallowell, Maine, marks something much more complex than raising sheep for the wool or growing cotton or flax for fiber. Their manufacturing process demonstrates an art that is near extinct. When current owner David Kaufman purchased the company in 2008, he dedicated his practices to maintaining Brahms Mount’s core values. This included retaining Claudia Brahm as lead designer and having a highly selective partnership process. Kaufman calls himself “old school” and that partnerships should always grow. When relocating their mill, Kaufman made sure that the larger facility was within 15 miles of the original structure to ensure employees were unaffected. Just shy of 30 employees, Brahm’s Mount continues to grow strongly, suggesting that in a time of off shore production, there is a cry for American made products.
Frowning upon synthetics and fabric finishes, each piece leaves a minimal carbon footprint while delivering products that define heirloom. “Our looms take a high skillset to operate. Those that do run the looms must have apprenticed into the position.” Just like a classical musician’s instrument, each of the antique looms need constant attention and fine-tuning. “It is a slow process without computers, with each piece being touched up to fifty times before it leaves our shipping dock. The result is in the finished product: absolute beauty.”
Coyuchi’s director of design, Laura Jo Wegmen, saw a similar spirit in Brahms Mount. Reaching out to the company, both sides saw it as a natural fit, being the best from the east and west. “I liked the fact that they used classic old-world wooden looms, along with their U.S. based manufacturing. Also, the idea that each design is classic, timeless, and livable made the partnership an ideal fit.” The design process is collaborative, with Wegmen working closely with Claudia Brahms, sharing a similar innovative appetite and exclusive yarn sourcing for Coyuchi. Each color palette is a naturally washed down tone, evoking the Northern California environment at different times of the year and day, such as tangerine with ivory, peacock with indigo, red with charcoal, and pewter with charcoal.
In each piece lives a story of two companies, coming together to create something unique, sharing a common goal of craftsmanship preservation.