dehen1920

Dehen 1920  is a family-run business based in Portland, Oregon, USA. They have specialized in the production of mens, ladies and youngsters knitwear, sweaters, cardignas and jackets as well as woolen outerwear, varsity and baseballjackets.

For over 90 years DEHEN1920 has supplied sports, cheerleader and team attire to schools, teams, universities and organisations. They even made jackets for the cadets at the famous Military academy of the U.S. Army at Westpoint. Another successful product was the iconic Motorcycle sweater made for bikers.

The Dehen factory in the 1940ies.

Some historic facts:

William Dehen came from a long line of professional knitters, and was himself a knitter when he emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1903. He brought with him an incredibly strong work ethic, a healthy respect for tradition, and a fearless, pioneering spirit.

William settled on the west coast and practiced his trade in San Francisco before moving north – first to Seattle, and ultimately to Portland.   Drawn to Portland by the large German population and the abundance of knitting companies, he went to work as a knitting supervisor at the Jantzen Knitting Mills.  When William had raised enough money, he opened his own mill, Dehen Knitting Company, in 1920.

Portland and Dehen was a great fit.  The Pacific Northwest, with mountains to the east and the coast to the west, bred a rugged generation of people who valued Dehen’s durable woolens.  Business grew, and Dehen established itself as one of the Northwest’s premier knitters.

The roaring 20s gave way to the Great Depression.  Throughout, Dehen kept the knitting machines running.   As the economy recovered the scope of Dehen business broadened.  The school sweater business boomed, and Dehen expanded into jackets, motorcycle togs and work wear.  One thing stayed constant through the boom and bust years:  an unwavering dedication to handcrafted, durable goods designed to last generations.

At Dehen, we feel it is important to know where you came from in order to know where you’re going. We came from a place where history, integrity, and excellence matter – not fads, gimmicks, or quick fixes. Our story is a source of pride that sets the bar for us as we approach 100 years in business.  Today, well into its fourth generation, the Dehen family is still committed to the tradition of manufacturing distinctive apparel, using time honored methods and the highest quality materials.

The Dehen1920 factory today.

a typical Varsity cardigan with embroideries and felt patches, early 1970ies.

from a vintage ad, 1973.

vintage Dehen label, late 1950ies

Signature Varsity jacket from the current collection, body made in original Pendleton wool, sleeves made of genuine U.S. Bison leather.

Signature Varsity V-Neck Pullover, from the current collection, made from 100% Worsted wool.