Abby's of Frankenmuth History
Since 1894, the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill has provided luxurious wool-filled comforters and other woolen goods. We are rich in history, crafting high quality, hand-tied, wool-filled comforters, wool batting, and roving from raw fleece for over 117 years. Same products, same name, same location!
In 1894, sheep herding was an important local industry in mid-Michigan, so Franz Ranke built the mill to serve the local farmers. In 1910, Ben Felgner and Wiliam Abraham joined Ranke as partners. At this time, automatic knitting machines and other modern equipment were added. When the First World War broke out in Europe, the U.S. Government awarded the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill a contract for 66,000 pairs of socks for our doughboys. By this time, with 24 women and 5 men, the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill had the largest payroll in Frankenmuth.
When WWI ended, the Mill began expanding its line of wool-filled comforters to replace rapidly shrinking marked for horse blankets and army socks. These comforters, highly prized by the local population, would continue to be the core of the business for the next thirty years.
In 1977, the McClellan family purchased the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill. Since then the Mill has been remodeled while continuing to keep it a working piece of history. Recognizing the historical significance of the Mill, it continues to process wool as we did a hundred years ago; on site, using original equipment, turning raw fleece into finished products and crafting to old-world standards. In 1980, the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill revolutionized the wool processing industry by guaranteeing each customer their own fleece back in return. By doing this, the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill became the premier wool processor for fiber artists across the nation that require specific types of wool for their craft.
As the City of Frankenmuth emerged as one of Michigan's top tourist destinations in the late 70's and early 80's, the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill changed its focus from a local dry goods retailer to a sweater and comforter shoppers dream. In 1994, the State of Michigan designated the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill as a Centennial Business and it holds a place in the State historic register.
The year 2001 brought again many changes, the Sweater Store expanded into the building next door making way for a more diversified selection. Offerings include thousands of gorgeous sweaters for men and women in a variety of fibers: cotton, wool, acrylic and more. The shoe department specializes in Brand Name comfort shoes and boots including Born, Uggs, and Spring Step to name a few. The outerwear department ranges from high style coats and jackets to active wear.
In May 2006, Abby McClellan purchased the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill Comforter Shop & Sweater Store from her parents, Gary and Carol McClellan. The Frankenmuth Woolen Mill's future will continue to change with the times, as it has in the past, yet continue to operate in the same location with the same commitment to quality and tradition. We are a family run, centennial business, rich in heritage, with thousands of gorgeous sweaters and beautiful, hand-tied woolen comforters for all to enjoy.
June 2010 marked a change for the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill Sweater Store. The Frankenmuth Woolen Mill Sweater Store is now Abby's of Frankenmuth. Abby's of Frankenmuth offers the same quality comfort wear clothing since it orginated as the Sweater Store. We offer a wide selection of brands including Born, UGG Australia, Outback, Berek, Spanx, Not Your Daughter's Jeans, and Pendleton for men. Those are just a few of the high quality merchandise we have to offer.