About Empire Wool and Canvas

Slow Clothing in a Fast Food World.

Here’s why we may not have what you want at the moment.

  • We only build winter clothing.  All year. Right here in Minnesota.
  • Nothing is fast or easy in our process. We pre-wash materials, cut by hand, and stitch a handful of items at a time.
  • We are small. We pay our help well. We operate in the Black.
  • We are not alone. Please visit Our Friends.

Want to learn more? Visit The Gory Little Details.

About Us

We’re Beth and Kevin Kinney, industry veterans, outdoor instructors, and advocates for dirty fingernails. Our yard is littered with boats, and our shed stuffed with bikes and skis. We understand the edge that synthetics offer for high octane pursuits, especially when you rely on your clothing for more than comfort. But we grew up in the woods- bow in hand before dawn, drawing heat from the coals of the evening fire. Our childhood pursuits were measured in seasons, not kilometers. In those days before polymers took center stage, our coats, hats, and mittens were lucky to find themselves in a closet, let alone the washing machine. Natural fibers went the distance for us.

We begin each day with strong coffee and a deep appreciation of the raw materials around us. The moist and oily smell of wool, the lumps in woven cotton, and the scars we find on our hides may seem like flaws in comparison to the monolithic character of pack cloth or fleece. These materials share our common histories, just as they shaped our cultures.

We’re craftsmen, not bean counters. Ours is a small, deliberate company. You won’t see an EWCC label in stores. If we’re busy, it may take longer before you see one in the mirror. But when you run your fingers over it, you’ll know why it was worth the wait.

Our philosophy is simple. We take full advantage of what mother nature has provided, and add a bit of modernity to ensure a good fit and easy care. Then we pass it on to you, so your children can steal it. Our job is to make things that really last. You’re charged with keeping a watchful eye on your closet.


Beth and Kevin Kinney