Exposure

Welcome to the Birthplace of Your Duckworth Wool Baselayer

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Photo: David Stubbs
Earlier this month, the Helle Rambouillet Ranch, a fourth-generation family sheep operation on 25,000 acres outside Dillon, Montana, held its annual shearing. Photographer David Stubbs captured the action as highly skilled workers took more than seven tons of raw Rambouillet wool off the animals. That wool will soon be cleaned, combed, spun, knitted, dyed, finished, cut, and turned into sweaters, jackets, baselayers, hats, and other products for boutique U.S. wool apparel maker Duckworth.

Photo: Father and son shearing duo Chris and Mike Schultz (from left) work on pair of sheep.

Photo: David Stubbs
Veteran shearer Mike Schultz quickly removes a fleece. The five-man team of shearers made it through 650 sheep in one day.
Photo: David Stubbs
Freshly sheared sheep wait to be turned out to pasture on the Helle Rambouillet Ranch near Dillon, Montana.
Photo: David Stubbs
Fourth-generation rancher and Duckworth co-founder John Helle at his home on the family run Helle Rambouillet Ranch near Dillon, Montana.
Photo: David Stubbs
Alisha Bidwell leads a sheep ahead of the herd on the Helle Rambouillet Ranch.
Photo: David Stubbs
Whit Stewart of Montana State University, right, uses an Optical Fiber Diameter Analyzer to look at wool micron levels. Wool with a lower micron level is used in baselayers, while higher micron wool is used in insulation pieces.
Photo: David Stubbs
Shearing clippers.
Photo: David Stubbs
Evan Helle throws a freshly cut fleece.
Photo: David Stubbs
Lanolin, the natural wax secreted by wool bearing animals, greases the floors of shearing sheds, so shearers have to wear special moccasins with a non-slip coating for solid footing.
Photo: David Stubbs
Duckworth co-founders and couple Outi Pulkkinen and Robert "Bernie" Bernthal.
Photo: David Stubbs
An old homestead structure on the Helle Rambouillet Ranch.
Photo: David Stubbs
A sheep herder's wagon sits idle on shearing day at the Helle Rambouillet Ranch.
Photo: David Stubbs
Outi Pulkkinen endures a frigid, bumpy ride on the Helle Rambouillet Ranch.
Photo: David Stubbs
Sunrise breaks over the Pioneer Mountains near the Helle Rambouillet Ranch.

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