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Posts from the ‘heritage’ Category

Visit Pendleton’s Past in Downtown Portland

Through February 28th, Pendleton’s history is on display at the Oregon Historical Society. This beautiful building on Portland’s South Park Blocks is very near Portland State University and the Portland Art Museum. Sounds like a great day downtown, doesn’t it?

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The exhibit is a fun way to learn just how Pendleton is woven into Oregon’s history. The desk on display was an old oak roll-top from our corporate headquarters. It was reserved for use by the mill manager when he made his way to Portland from Washougal. Our current manager may have opened a laptop on it a time or two, but times have changed and the desk sat unused for decades.

As we approached the 150th anniversary of the opening of Thomas Kay’s mill, our visual manager, Shelley Prael, decided to incorporate the desk into a display at a sales meeting. When she opened the drawers, she found them full of items belonging to Thomas Kay’s nephew, C.P. Bishop, who used the desk in the old Bishop’s store in Salem.

Numerous treasures, including his college yearbooks, journal and eyeglasses, were accessioned into our archives. But don’t worry, some are on loan to the exhibit, along with other artifacts and a timeline that takes you from 1863 to the present.

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More information here.

1932 Olympic Blankets

Ah, Olympic fever. Despite mixed reactions to the USA uniforms (thanks to Lizzie for this post) and some alarming tweets from the press about the hotels, we’re still excited for the official opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Most fans have been watching the skating and snowboarding, enjoying the games in advance of the opening ceremonies.

Of course, Pendleton has an Olympic connection. In 1932, we won the commission to provide blankets to the Olympics. Here is a photo of the blankets leaving on a train for Los Angeles.

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There are several known colorways for these blankets. In our archives, we have only one, with a very warm color scheme. There are also a light blue and a brights-on-white patterns out there, but we haven’t been able to track down examples. There might even be more. Here is our archival blanket.

WEB_1932 Olympic blanketHere is a close-up of the label.

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That’s a VERY CLOSE close up, isn’t it? Even so, the label is worn enough that you might want the label’s text:

Genuine
OLYMPIAD BLANKET
100% Virgin Wool
1932
PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS
PORTLAND, OREGON U.S.A.

Olympic fever is nothing new, and Pendleton traded on it with themed displays.

1932_Olympic_Display1In the displays, mannequins wear tasteful blanket coats that look modern. We are not sure if those were sewn and offered for sale by Pendleton, or sewn just for display to encourage consumers to get creative with the blankets. Pendleton did manufacture labeled blanket coats for women over the years, but our first women’s sportswear line debuted in 1949 with our 49’er jacket as the centerpiece.

1932_Olympic_Display2And yes, at $7.95, you can’t beat that price.

It has been a winter of winters here in the US, so as you sit back and enjoy the competition this year, we hope you stay warm. And if you have an example of the other colors of the Pendleton blankets, drop us a line! We would love some color photos.

Portland’s Pittock Mansion

Portland’s beautiful Pittock Mansion is open for holiday tours, and as usual, Pendleton products help adorn it. Henry Pittock’s bedroom is done in a northwest theme with the Chief Joseph blanket in sage on the bed.

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The Pittock Mansion is a piece of Portland’s history. Guest can tour the grounds and enjoy panoramic views in every direction. So come take a tour! Details here.

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Our Grateful Nation

We have been making our Grateful Nation blanket for most of a decade, and for part of that time, we also made a Grateful Nation Vest. It honored veterans in two ways; by visually commemorating each of this century’s service ribbons, and by donations  to The Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation provides residences near military and VA medical centers for families of ill or wounded veterans and service members. A portion of the sale of each blanket goes to the Fisher House Foundation, as well. 

Cue Chris Winters, a Puyallup tribal member and veteran who understood that we were no longer making the vest, but wanted to know if we had fabric available. He sent photos of his own vest.

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Said Chris, “I am on a Tribal committee and we not only wear Pendleton vests for ceremonies. ..we gift your native blankets to guests, elders, and returning warriors.” Chris is very involved in IUPAT, a Washington State organization that offers outreach, support and training for Native veterans. This group marches in local parades honoring servicemen in their Grateful Nation vests, decorated with the medals earned by veterans who have served our country.

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The role of Native Americans in our military cannot be understated. Books have been written and movies made about Native Code Talkers in both World Wars. The percentage of Native Americans serving in the military is higher than any other minority group in America.

We’re bringing back the Grateful nation vest this next fall, in 2014. We thought you’d enjoy seeing the vest worn in Tacoma, Washington area parades and ceremonies by Native veterans who have served our country well. 

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And thanks, Chris, for reaching out. Chris-in-his-vest

Here’s the blanket in the  IUPAT office.

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Click below for more information about the blanket and the meaning of each service ribbon stripe. Read more

Carly Weasel Child, our new Calgary Stampede Indian Princess

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Here at Pendleton, we have been proud to support the rein of Amber Big Plume, the Calgary Stampede Indian princess for 2013. We are just as excited about Carly Weasel Child, the 2014 Princess. That’s her, posed before the Canadian Rockies in a coat made from our Canyon Diablo blanket. From the Siksika Nation, Carly is currently attending Siksika College. Her eventual goal is a  Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications, to prepare for a future career in journalism or public relations.

Carly is a jingle dancer. Her Blackfoot name, Papainhkkiakii, means“Dream Singing Woman”.  As the 2014 Indian Princess, Carly continues a family legacy, being the fourth young woman in her family to serve as royalty. She says of being princess, “It’s an incredible honor to carry the title of Calgary Stampede Indian Princess and have this opportunity to make a positive impact for my community.  I have always admired the strong women who have served as Indian Princess before me and I am so excited to share the beauty and importance of the First Nation’s culture during my year. I look forward to greeting visitors from around the world to Indian Village during the 2014 Calgary Stampede – the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth!”

Below, please enjoy some shots of the Pendleton blanket-draped stage, Amber Big Plume saying good-bye, and more shots of Carly in her new role. Our favorite shot is of both women wrapped in their blankets, gifts from Pendleton to celebrate their roles as representatives of the five tribes of Treaty 7, the Indian Village and the Calgary Stampede.

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Pendleton’s Day of the Dead Blanket

Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is celebrated on October 31st and November 1st and 2nd.  In Mexico, celebrants build ofrendas, altars to the deceased, with photos, candles, and the favorite foods of those who have moved on. In Brazil, families visit churches, then visit cemeteries. In Spain, celebrants enjoy festivals and parades throughout certain neighborhoods. Wherever the holiday is observed, the spirits of the departed are welcomed back to this world with specific symbols; calaveras (sugar skulls), masses of stylized flowers, and dressed skeletons.

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The roots of the holiday go back more than 3,000 years ago, to the age of the Aztecs and a ritual that celebrated the goddess Mictecacihuatl.  The skulls and flowers symbolized death and rebirth. In the 15th century, Spanish conquistadores were aghast at a ritual that seemed to mock death. In an attempt to make the ceremony more Christian, the Spaniards moved the event to All Saints’ Day, but the symbology remained, growing more fanciful and varied through the generations.

The central figure of our Day of the Dead blanket represents the colorful wooden skull masks or calacas that celebrants wear as they dance to honor their dead relatives. The wooden skulls, decorated sugar skulls and marigolds are placed at gravesites and altars for the departed. The blanket’s bright colors and festive images of flowers and mariachi musicians capture the spirit of the celebration.

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We have a related pattern called Sugar Skulls based on one of the elements in the Day of the Dead blanket. It’s used in fabric, a spa towel, an array of bags and Diego the bear. Our patterns capture the spirit of joyful welcome as celebrated by people all over the world during Dia de los Muertos.

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Japan’s Workwear Magazine and Pendleton blankets

This recent feature on our blankets in WORKWEAR magazine is full of vintage photos and brochures from the Pendleton archives. Enjoy!Workwear_10_13_aWEB Workwear_10_13_eWEB Workwear_10_13_bWEB

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Pendleton x Ural Motorcycles

Ural Gaucho Rambler

Pendleton is delighted to show you the Ural Gaucho Rambler, our collaboration with IMZ-Ural, one of the world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers. The Gaucho Rambler pays homage to the famed Southwestern cowboy, or Gaucho.

Ural specializes in retro-inspired three-wheelers. This sidecar model is painted Pacific Blue with a sun-weathered canvas draping to echo the colors of the western sunset.  Each bike carries a specially labeled Journey West blanket robe for warmth under the starry night skies. Because every cowboy should have the means to rustle up some grub, each bike also includes a mess kit with coffee pot and cups, plates and a skillet.

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“Ural and Pendleton are two companies which at different points in time ventured out to find home in the American West, both of which endured many challenges and yet all the while maintained their authenticity,” said Madina Merzhoeva, Ural’s VP of Sales & Marketing. “This year Pendleton’s anniversary celebrates 150 years of weaving textiles in America and Ural marks its 20th year in the US. Paying homage to our beginnings and the pioneering spirit is what connects the two brands and inspired this collaboration.”

The partnership of historic brands was a natural fit. Only 50 units of the 2013 Gaucho Rambler will be manufactured, so saddle up and have some fun while you can.

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Thomas Kay should be in your mailbox.

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The Thomas Kay Collection should be arriving in your mailbox today via catalog. 

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 Joining our founder’s British roots with the sensibilities of the American West, the men’s and women’s apparel and Home goods in this collection tell the Pendleton story. We hope you enjoy!

Happy Birthday, Yosemite National Park

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This week marked the birthday of Yosemite National Park. Nearly 4 million people a year visit this World heritage site, which spans 761,268 acres and crosses the slopes of the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains in California.  With its diverse wildlife, sky-sweeping Sequoias and distinctive rock formations, this wilderness contains some of the most rugged beauty of the American West.

It’s our deepest hope that we can resume enjoying our national treasures soon. In the meantime, Pendleton continues to honor our National parks with a growing collection of distinctive blankets that includes Yellowstone, Badlands, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Rainier, Acadia, Crater Lake and Glacier.

Pendleton National Park Blankets

 

Each blanket bears the Pendleton label along with a special label depicting an image with an important natural feature specific to each park. All blankets are 100% pure virgin wool and made in the USA.

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This is a beautiful time of year to see the western parks. Let’s hope our families can enjoy them soon!

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