Vintage Spotlight | Sept. 2012
Portland’s Dehen Knitting Company
independently founded in Portland Oregon by William Dehen in 1920,
the Dehen Knitting Company was a rather large success
until the stock market crash shut down the factory.
The operation moved into William’s basement and garments
were peddled door to door until the business got back on it’s feet in 1936.
William opened retail store on 10th and Yamhill in downtown Portland,
and began to teach the trade to his children. The company struggled with
the scarcity of wool during World War II, but once the war was over,
new markets opened up for Dehen.
From the 40’s through the 60’s they added car coats, motorcycle togs
and other new styles, and expanded their school business
into varsity jackets and cheerleading uniforms.
The company was eventually handed down to William’s two oldest sons
and from the 60’s through the 80’s Dehen grew to over a hundred employees,
and invested in new machinery allowing them to knit cotton and other materials.
We see just a few of these knitted gems come through our store
but they are always equipped with a signature fit and quality.
Heavy knit cardigans, varsity jackets, fitted leggings,
and other great vintage Dehen.
We’ve got a pair of Dehen knit fitted fire engine red pants
with black and white striping running horizontally up the outer sides
of the legs in our online shop. If you catch yourself at the Worm
checking out vintage school sportswear, it’s also pretty likely you’ll
stumble on a Dehen in the mix.
A lot of the background information and history for the company is nicely
displayed on their website (It’s where most of this short post is referenced from too!)
If you’d like to read more about Dehen,
or browse through their collection, check out: