Duckworth is the world's only source-verified, entirely US-made fine merino gear.
When one of Montana's largest ranchers is also a ripping skier and an advocate for sustainability, what results is some of the finest merino gear for outdoor living you can buy. And at Duckworth’s merino wool ranch in Montana, that's what they make. They grow the lambs, shear the wool, and build the best merino gear in the country.
At the Duckworth ranch, each spring lambing season comes with lots of busy bottle-feeding and getting the lambs ready to romp all summer on the ranch's thousands of acres from Dillon to Yellowstone. And that free-ranging movement is what makes for the softest merino wool in the world. Duckworth is the world’s only true sheep-to-shelf clothing made entirely end-to-end in the USA. And it's quickly gaining the reputation of being the best.
Duckworth's John Helle is a ski patroller, but he also owns the ranch where Duckworth sources 100% of its wool. It's one of the only ranches in the world large enough, and with the miles of varying elevation necessary, to be able to move the flocks to different elevations throughout the seasons to keep the merino fibers growing thin on the sheep. It’s the fineness of the fibers that makes a merino soft against the skin. Since nobody else has the same elevation variation across miles of land the way Duckworth’s ranch does, nobody else can manage the growth of a lamb’s fibers to the same degree. As a result, even other so-called fine merino clothing brands have a much higher itch-factor than Duckworth’s.
What’s more, the Duckworth ranch has one of the only US-based flocks of the Rambouillet breed, which is world-renowned for being the best merino sheep. The breed began over two centuries ago in Spain, and has been perfected in Montana with its arid landscape and mountain elevations. The resulting fibers are also naturally anti-microbial, because of the heavy lanolin oils produced in the sheep's fleece. So it is stink-resistant beyond any cotton or synthetic out there.
At Gear.com we've tested a lot of different merino products, and Duckworth isn't just good clothing -- it's the softest, most durable high performance merino gear we've seen. And it is the ultimate in sustainability, because you know where every fiber of wool came from: It was all grown, spun, woven, cut, and sewn right here in the US. No fuel burned on trips across the ocean; no inhumane working conditions. The Gear.com team has been to the ranch and seen it. We've shorn the sheep ourselves. We've walked the hills with the flocks. It's local at it's finest. There’s nothing like knowing that the same lambs you've held in your arms during lambing season will live out their lives in the open valleys and high mountains of Montana, right next door, just growing soft merino each year.