The yarn for Ralph Lauren's Olympic closing ceremony sweaters was spun in Michigan

Feb 23, 2014

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, the U.S. team got a lot of criticism for wearing Olympic clothing made in China to the opening ceremonies. 

For the Winter Games, designer Ralph Lauren used American material. The yarn for the sweaters and hats that will be worn in the closing ceremonies at the Winter Olympics in Sochi was spun in East Jordan, Michigan.

Here's what the sweater and hats will look like:

 

The sweater that will be worn by the U.S. team at the closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The sweater that will be worn by the U.S. team at the closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Credit Stonehedge Fiber Mill

Northern Michigan yarn

The yarn was spun at the Stonehedge Fiber Mill, owned by Debbie McDermott, who says a woman employed by Ralph Lauren discovered their fiber mill in the summer of 2012. The woman spotted a Michigan Department of Transportation sign advertising the Stonehedge Fiber Mill along the road. She stopped in, took a skein of yarn back to New York, and Ralph Lauren liked it so much he ordered 3,000 lbs from the mill for the sweaters.

MLive has more on the mill:

Based in the Lake Street Center industrial complex in East Jordan, Stonehedge specializes in custom processing of wool into yarn. The business' wholesale yarn also can be found in roughly 250 stores nationwide. Stonehedge employs 14 people, most of them family members.

The company typically produces 2,00 to 2,500 pounds of wholesale yarn monthly, as well as 1,000 pounds of custom yarn for customers across the nation.  Stonehedge typically uses textiles produced by sheep and angora goats form McDermott's 157-year-old farm. The fiber mill even uses equipment created by McDermott's husband, Chuck.

There has been a lot of reaction to the opening-ceremony sweaters, but the closing-ceremony sweaters have escaped the fashion barbs – some describe them as not "quite as obnoxious."

Gov. Snyder seems to like them:

Gov. Rick Snyder is presented with an official 2014 Olympic Closing Ceremony sweater by Debra and Chuck McDermott, owners of the Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan, MI.
Gov. Rick Snyder is presented with an official 2014 Olympic Closing Ceremony sweater by Debra and Chuck McDermott, owners of the Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan, MI.
Credit Gov. Snyder's office

McDermott said 200 of the closing ceremony sweaters were made for retail. You can shop for all the Ralph Lauren Olympic gear on their website. It appears the closing ceremony sweaters are sold out. If you still want to buy a hat, they're $85.

Or if you're feeling really adventurous, you could pick up one of these sweet get-ups.

*Correction: An earlier post stated that the yarn from Michigan was used for the opening ceremony sweaters. That yarn was made in Oregon, not Michigan. We corrected the copy above. 

– Lucy Perkins and Mark Brush, Michigan Radio Newsroom

*This post was originally posted on Thursday, Feb. 6.

H/T: Zoe Clark