Long before our hometown of Portland Ore. was known for third-wave coffee, vegan strip clubs or wacky airport carpet, our friends over at Dehen Knitting Co. were hard at work perfecting the art of quality wool knitwear. In fact, they’ve been at it for almost 100 years. Renown from here to Japan for their premium, heavyweight construction, Dehen’s origins can be traced back to a German immigrant who landed on the west coast with nothing but his knitting skills and healthy dose of tenacity. His descendants still run the company to this day.
After helping build some of the west’s most prestigious knit facilities, including Golden State Knitting in San Francisco and Jantzen Knitting Mills here in Portland, William Peter Dehen struck out on his own and soon found a niche crafting sweaters and jackets for motorcycle clubs under his own name. That commitment to quality, durability and traditional style which earned Dehen the reputation of best in class decades ago, still emanates today from everything they produce.
Tanner Goods was one of the first retail accounts to stock Dehen’s heritage line when it launched a handful of years back, and we’ve been looking for an excuse to create something completely custom with them ever since. We didn’t have to think too hard to come to an obvious conclusion; their wool construction is some of the finest, warmest we’ve ever wrapped ourselves in — why not knit a custom throw blanket and pillow set? A couple caffeine-fueled conversations and hasty sketches later, we were off to the races. In two weeks time, the design and knitting team at Dehen had whipped up a stylish set of samples that had us all fighting over who would get to wear-test this new set.
Each Dehen blanket and pillow is crafted from heavyweight, 100% wool yarn spins through their industrial knitting machines, many of which date to the post-war era. Watching the slow, steady march of production on one of these industrial behemoths is a sight to behold; custom punch cards dictate the striped variation in this tightly-correographed creation. Watching these beautiful textiles materialize from the steely teeth of two-ton knitting machine is mesmerizing, to say the least.
But quality like this takes time, doesn’t it? And if nothing else, It’s a good reminder for us all to slow down and let the process happen at it’s own speed. So as fall approaches, bring that cozy sweater feel to your living room with our Dehen Throw & Pillow Set. Fair warning: you may have to fight your couch buddy over the goods.