Since 1982, each Schaefer Outfitter garment has been proudly crafted in our family owned and operated factories in El Paso, Texas. That means we design, engineer, cut, sew, and inspect each and every garment featured in the product line. Schaefer is one of the last full line apparel manufacturers left in America; our appreciation for our customers’ loyalty is heartfelt and shared by thousands of others in the American textile industry who provide the finest raw materials possible.
Thank you for supporting American made products!
Now, let’s break each process down about how an American Made Schaefer product is developed.
Design – Simple right? Well, not so fast. Millions of garments have been designed over the years, so how do you create a style folks will love to wear? For Schaefer, it’s to remain true to the garment’s purpose and how it’s intended to be used. Sometimes that’s simple for, say, a dress shirt. But for things like outerwear and vests, there can be more demanding expectations for use. For example, our iconic Drifter pattern is designed to be a functional, working cowboy coat; one that wears comfortably on a ride, protects from the elements, and has an abundance of pockets. Snap-out side riding vents were added so the back could be unsnapped to cover the back end of the saddle. A two-way zippered storm/snap flap front placket, six-pocket front, and two inside pockets are also welcome additions. The development process for an importer can be very different, with designers given up-front budget restraints to cover the import costs from Asia or India. In many cases for importers, functional assets are diminished, and materials are compromised.
Fabric Selection – Once the drawings and styling are completed, it’s time to pick the appropriate fabric based on the how the garment is to be used. Fortunately for us, many of our fabrics are proprietary, meaning we work with American suppliers to develop fabrics exclusively for our products and customers including RangeWax, RangeTek, Brushcloth and Fenceline Canvas. Each of these fabrics offers distinct performance traits to complement a garment’s designed purpose. Generally speaking, most off-shore fabrics are basics and lack the function Schaefer fabrics offer, especially for natural cotton-based fabrics and wool.
Trim Selection – We have earned our reputation for high quality trim selection by putting American made trim at the heart of our design process. Premium leather from American tanneries is chosen by style, for collar and cuff trim, which cannot be duplicated offshore. Antique solid brass snaps, rivets, and shank buttons (with the Schaefer logo tooled) are heavy duty and embellish the garment dramatically. This trim is produced by YKK and attached to the garments using proprietary YKK machines. Snap and button trims of this caliber usually outlive the garment itself.
Sampling – The process of sampling is expensive. It can cost five times the cost of regular production to craft a single garment for review of fit, function, and overall design. In most cases, changes are made, and another sample is produced. Careful attention to every detail is critical prior to taking a garment to market.
Testing – Final samples are tested for function and fit in the field. Any last-minute changes are made in this phase and some garment designs are scrubbed at this point. Not every design makes the cut in the development process.
Production – Schaefer maintains two factories in El Paso, Texas that employ over 90 individuals including cutters, sewers, trim specialists, laundry, inspectors, packers, and management. When it’s time for production, fabrics, linings, and trims arrive from more than 35 suppliers across America, who represent thousands more jobs. Once the garments make it through production they undergo a final inspection, and are shipped to our Fort Worth, Texas location for distribution.
American pride is built into every Schaefer Outfitter garment. When you buy American-made products, you are putting Americans to work. We thank all of our customers for being mindful in their purchase decisions, and look forward to continuing to craft the highest quality garments for generations to come.