Northwestern Knitting Co. was founded in 1888 by George Munsing, who invented a method of plating woolen fibers with cotton to take the itch out of woolen underwear. The less bulky, single-piece undergarments were patented in 1891 and propelled NWKC to the industry standard for both household and military use. It continued to thrive throughout the twentieth century until 1981, when a deteriorating national economy forced the factory in Minneapolis to close. The reintroduction of NWKC features Merino Dual Cloth, a modern interpretation of George Munsing's original fabric, utilizing a proprietary combination of yarns knit in the USA at a family-owned mill. Its trademark badge is knit by Minnesota Knitting Mills, a century old facility in St. Paul.