What makes an item a factory second?

It takes 22 steps and at least 12 people to craft a Faribault Mill blanket from start to finish. Sometimes during that process, we make minor mistakes. Sometimes, they are barely noticeable, but we expect perfection, hence “Almost Perfect”. When these minor mistakes are identified during our production and inspection processes, the item is tagged as a “Factory Second.” While these Factory Seconds don’t make the cut as “first quality” they are still made of the same high-quality fabric as our “first quality” products and are available to you at discount.

What are the potential reasons why a wool item is tagged as a "factory second"?

There are 16 different types of blemishes that can make a wool item a factory second. We are selling 8 of those blemish types on our website.

  • "Over/Under Napped". An over/under napped factory second happens when the blanket receives either too much or too little napping.

  • "Edge Effect". An edge effect factory second happens when there is a change in the finishing of a blanket or throw. As an example: A turned under hem on a first quality blanket may change to a whip stitch edging on a second quality blanket.

  • "Color Variation". Color variation factory seconds occur when there is a slight color blemish on the blanket. This type of factory second is most common on lighter colors.

  • "Mis-weave". A mis-weave factory second occurs when a singular yarn is out of place. In most cases this will create a situation where the weaving pattern of the yarn will look inconsistent.

  • "Off Pattern". Off pattern factory seconds occur when a patterned blanket or throw is woven incorrectly. For example, on the Faribault plaid throw the plaid squares might be woven wider than expected.

  • "Fringe Defect". A fringe defect factory second occurs when the fringe elements on a throw are not properly twisted or are the incorrect length. This only happens on the throws that have fringe on the edges.

  • "Off-size". An off-size factory second occurs when the blanket or throw is larger or smaller than our specifications. The variance from specification can be up to 4 inches larger and 1 inch smaller for blankets and throws. For example, our Queen-size Frontier Wool Blanket is made in a size of 90x96 (width x length), so an off-size factory second for this blanket could measure out to be 89x96, making it a bit narrower.

  • "Mixed Fill". A mixed fill factory second occurs when the fill colors for a blanket are incorrect.

What are the potential reasons why a cotton item is tagged as a "factory second"?

There are 4 different types of blemishes that can make a cotton item a factory second.

  • "Bad Selvage". Selvage is the edge of the blanket. A bad selvage factory second occurs when this edge is not smooth. There is no defect material defect, it is just a visual blemish on the edge.

  • "Tight Lines". This occurs when the weaving on the loom is tighter than normal and creates a darker line on the blanket. There is no material defect, it is just a visual blemish.

  • "Too short". This occurs when the blanket is between 2 and 5 inches shorter than expected.

  • "Discoloration". A discoloration factory second occurs when there is a discoloration in the yarn. The blanket might be two tone or sun bleached in an area.

Are Factory Seconds returnable?

Yes we accept the return of factory seconds for a refund within 60 days of purchase provided that the item is in unused condition. A $15.00 shipping charge will be deducted.

If I have additional questions who can I contact?

Our customer service team will be happy to answer any additional questions. They can be reached at 507-412-5534 or customerservice@faribaultmill.com.


What is your shipping policy?

Free standard shipping on orders $150 and over shipping within the contiguous United States. Regular standard shipping rates apply for the following areas: Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. Expedited delivery services are available for all areas, continental and non-continental, for an additional charge. Faribault Mill reserves the right, in our sole discretion, to change our delivery policy and delivery fees at any time.

You can view our shipping policy in detail on our Shipping & Returns page.

Once I place my order, how long before it gets shipped?

Purchased items are typically shipped within one to five business days.

After my order is shipped, how long before it is delivered?

Most orders are shipped via UPS however some are shipped via USPS, mostly smaller packages. Orders with a PO Box ONLY (no street address) will ship via USPS. MUST HAVE A VALID ADDRESS. Please allow 1 to 2 weeks for delivery to arrive. If you still have not received your purchase after 3 weeks, please notify customerservice@faribaultmill.com.

What if I need to change or correct my order?

We do our best to accommodate changes or corrections to orders, however it is not always possible to intercept an order already in process. Please email or call within 30 minutes of placing an order during customer service hours of 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday (CST) and we will do our best to assist you. You can reach us by calling 507-412-5534 or by email customerservice@faribaultmill.com

Is there a guarantee on Faribault Mill products?

Producing goods of the finest quality material and workmanship has been the cornerstone of our company since 1865. Your complete satisfaction is very important to us. Should you encounter any defects in material or workmanship with your purchase, we will be more than happy to repair or replace it. See our return and exchange policy below.

What is your Returns and Exchanges policy?

Orders may be returned for a full refund within 60 days of shipment, provided that the condition of the item returned is consistent with the condition originally shipped and received upon purchase. A $15.00 shipping charge will be deducted from your refund.

Proof of purchase, including your original order number, is required for all returns. We will credit your original method of payment for the merchandise purchase price. To generate a free prepaid return label visit our return label portal here here 24 hours a day or contact customer service through email at customerservice@faribaultmill.com or phone at 1.507.412.5534 to request one.

Purchases from retail store locations may also be returned or exchanged within 60 days at any of our store locations.

You can read more HERE.


What are the benefits of wool?

Natural and renewable

Recyclable and biodegradable

Year-round comfort

Easy care

Read more about the benefits of wool HERE.

How do I clean a woolen product?

Wool is the original miracle fiber. It’s naturally stain, wrinkle and water-resistant, so our products rarely need cleaning. In fact the best way to refresh your woolens is the natural way: Simply shake or gently brush the woolens and hang them outdoors.

Dry Clean Only Products: Dry cleaning is recommended. You can also hand wash in cold water with a mild cleaning agent designed for wool. Hand wash does not mean the Gentle or Hand Wash cycle in a washing machine, as the agitation can cause the fibers to interlock. Line dry, taking care to rotate the woolen to prevent stretching. Iron only on low, only if necessary. Do not bleach. If these instructions aren’t followed significant shrinkage and a change in texture could occur.

Machine Wash Products: Machine wash cold, separately, on a gentle cycle. A gentle cleaning agent designed for wool is recommended. Side load washing machines are the gentlest. Line drying taking care to rotate the woolen to prevent stretching. Iron only on low, only if necessary. Do not use fabric softener, as it can increase pilling. Do not bleach.

Read more about caring for your Faribault Woolen Mill products HERE

How should I get rid of wrinkles?

If a blanket, throw or scarf wrinkles you can simply hang it for a day and wrinkles will smooth out, usually within 24 hours. Woolens can also be ironed on a low setting or carefully steamed.

How do I prevent or get rid of pilling?

Pilling is caused by wool fibers becoming intertwined on the surface of the woolen as a result of wear or abrasion, even with gentle use. The finer the wool, the more susceptible it is to pilling. A lint brush or nylon-bristled garment brush are the most effective way to remove pills. Brush in the same direction, along the length of the woolen. Regular, gentle brushing can prevent most pilling.

The Woolen Process: How it works

Selection: The woolen process begins with the selection of the highest quality imported and domestic fleeces. Each bail is sampled and checked for quality, providing the base of making the finest woolen products.

Dyeing: Loose fiber, intended for use in patterned or plaid products is stock dyed in large vats after washing. If fiber is dyed after being woven into fabric it is piece dyed. Half art and half science, only the highest quality colorfast dyes are used in the dyeing process to assure consistency.

Carding: The carding machine, performing somewhat like a mechanical wire brush, blends various types of raw wool or exotic fibers, removes excess matter and aligns each fiber in the same direction. Fibers come off the carding machine in loosely twisted strands called roving.

Spinning: Rolls of roving are placed on the spinning frame. The ends of roving are drawn through small rollers, The fibers are then stretched slightly and twisted as they are wound onto spinning bobbins to make strong yarn.

Weaving: Woven fabric is produced by intertwining two sets of yarn at right angles. The warp yarn travels lengthwise through the loom. The fill yarn is threaded through alternating raised and lowered strands of warp yarn.

See more HERE