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Posts from the ‘heritage’ Category

The Heritage Collection; centuries of beautiful blankets.

With our Heritage Collection, Pendleton has brought many of our classic patterns back to life in our USA mills. Using designs from our archives as old as 1896, we’ve painstakingly rewoven blankets from the heyday of the Native Trade blanket. These blankets display a dizzying richness of color and geometry.

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Canyon Diablo:

This is the newest addition to the Heritage Collection. Fifty thousand years ago the Canyon Diablo meteorite made its mark on the Arizona landscape. Millennium later, pre-historic Native Americans discovered meteor fragments along the canyon rim. Many Southwest cultures since have considered these fragments to be gifts from the gods endowed with other worldly energy. Today the crater made by the meteorite sits on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Flagstaff. This is an Overall pattern blanket.

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Gatekeeper:

The Gatekeeper is an original Pendleton design from 1935. An eight-point star is the central figure. This common design element among the Sioux (Lakota, Dakota and Nakoda) often represents the morning star, gatekeeper of the day, shows the way to the light and knowledge. This blanket is a beautiful example of a Centerpoint pattern – one that contains a central design element that falls within a band through the center of the blanket.

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Evening Star:

The Evening Star design features a traditional star symbol emblazoned on the colors of the sunset. The outlined Venus symbols–representing both the morning and evening star–that inspired this blanket have been found on rock art throughout North and South America. Stories of the Evening Star (the planet Venus) are found in a number of Native American myths. This is a Nine Element blanket.

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Silver Bark:

The original Silver Bark blanket dates from the 1920s and was rediscovered in a private collection. The design features stylized arrow, star, diamond and waterbug motifs in colors inspired by the white and grey bark of Aspen trees against a blue sky. The original blanket was bound in satin, like a bed blanket. Our re-creation has a wool binding (twin sizes) or a suede trim (full, queen and king sizes). . It’s a stunning example of an Overall pattern.

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Turtle:

This has been a favorite in the Heritage Collection for almost a decade. The Turtle Blanket is a re-coloration of an early 1900s Pendleton design, and is one of the longest offerings in the heritage Collection. It pays tribute to the Iroquois Confederacy, one of the oldest participatory democracies on earth, consisting of the Oneida, Seneca, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga (and later the Tuscarora) Nations. The Turtle design was inspired by Iroquois, primarily Mohawk, creation legend. This blanket is another example of Centerpoint design in which three major design elements fall in a row down the center of the blanket.

The Heritage Collection blankets are beautiful, but they don’t stay in the line forever. All are available at www.pendleton-usa.com.

Rick Steber signs RED WHITE BLACK at the Pendleton Round-Up

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If you’re heading to the Pendleton Round-Up, you will want to meet author Rick Steber. He will be signing copies of his book, Red White Black, at the Pendleton store in Pendleton, Oregon on Saturday, September 12th, 9 AM to 12 PM.

The story of the Pendleton Round-Up is inextricably linked to the story of Jackson Sundown, a rodeo champion from the Nez Perce tribe.  Red White Black tells the story of the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up, when three men of different skin colors – Jackson Sundown, John Spain, and George Fletcher – competed in the finals of the Northwest Saddle Bronc Championship. What happened that September day, the judges’ decision and the reaction of the crowd in the aftermath, forever changed the sport of rodeo.

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Rick Steber, who spent nearly four decades researching this story, has more than 30 titles under his belt and sales of over a million books. Rick is the only Oregon author to have won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award – Best Western Novel. He is a keen observer of the changing American West and he articulates these changes in prose that are boldly descriptive, invigorating and creative. This is your chance to meet him and have him sign a piece of Round-Up history for you.

The Paddle to Quinault Journey

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We received a letter from Kathleen Praxel about the Paddle to Quinault, a water journey that takes place each summer in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.  Participants travel the Salish Sea, a network of waterways connecting  the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Puget Sound.

This year’s Paddle to Quinault Journey embarked from Squaxin Island and landed at Taholah, Quinault tribal headquarters on the mouth of the Quinault River.  From July 15th to August 1st, this year’s journey covered over 300 miles of waterways including Hood Canal, the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca, and the Pacific Ocean from Neah Bay to Taholah.

Over 46,000 spectators watched the paddlers at different points on the journey, with visitors from New Zealand and Australia, as well as many tribes from Canada. Next year the event will start from Taholah and the paddle will be to Bella Bella in Canada – a distance of some 700 miles.

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This is Martha Boyer, Quinault tribal member and skipper of the “Chi? Swit”(pronounced Chee e Swite), a canoe named for Martha’s grandmother. She is posed before a Raven and the Box of Knowledge blanket. Martha’s photo and pictures of the Chi? Swit are in the Lake Quinault Museum, Quinault, Washington.  The museum was opened 10 years ago and includes history, photos and artifacts from the nearby communities of Quinault, Amanda Park, Queets, Clearwater, Neilton, Humptulips, and Taholah.  You can learn more about the museum on its Facebook page.

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This is  group of  “pullers” with Kathleen’s husband, Ed, at their place on the North Shore of Lake Quinault.

The journey is designed to strengthen participants’ ties to their history and homeplace. To learn more about the Journey and the people involved, please enjoy this feature in the North Kitsap Herald, “Canoe Journey helps participants connect with who they are | Paddle to Quinault.” Thanks to Kathleen for telling us about this journey and sharing her wonderful photos. And for those of you who are interested in the blanket, here is the story:

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This intriguing blanket is based on a work by internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary. Mr. Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest – both of his great-grandparents were full-blooded Tlingit Indians. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage translated into glass. The image on this blanket represents Raven, a shape shifter and trickster who often employed crafty schemes to achieve his goals. In the story, the old chief who lived at the head of the Nass River kept his precious treasures – the sun, the moon and the stars – in beautifully carved boxes. Raven steals the light, and making his escape carries the sun in his mouth. The sun is a metaphor for enlightenment or knowledge. The ombred background shades meet in the center in vibrant colors of sun and light. Mr. Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Art Museum. A portion of the proceeds from this blanket will be donated to the American Indian College Fund to help support tribal colleges.

Route 66 on Route 66

Route 66

We got word of some happy Pendleton fans this last week when we received this photo of our Route 66 blanket on the front seat of a 1953 Hudson Hornet. Thanks to Anna and Dean for letting us share it, and from their friend Carolyn for letting us know about it. If you missed our post about this blanket and the route that inspired it, just click here.

Burnside Street/Burnside Shirt

At Pendleton, we have so much local lore to draw on when naming products. We all agreed that the Burnside was a perfect name for this Fall’s new cotton shirt! What else would we name it? It was a perfect name, the perfect name! But then it occurred to us that not every one lives in Portland. So here’s a little background.

Burnside Avenue runs from east to west in Portland, crossing the Willamette River with one of Portland’s original bridges. The best-known stretch on the west side of the river, where Burnside was originally known as “B Street,” is part of Northwest Portland’s Alphabet District. In the 1800s, before the bridge was built, this was a wild part of town. B Street was home to bars, card rooms, and other nefarious businesses that made it a less-than-respectable part of town. The street name was changed to Burnside after David W. Burnside, a Portland merchant, in the late 1860s, but it took more than a new moniker to alter the neighborhood. It took traffic.

Yes, traffic! The bridge, the streetcar and then the demands of the automobile turned Burnside into one of Portland’s more heavily traveled avenues. When the 205 freeway was cut through, Burnside even got some on-ramps (one block off Burnside). Burnside served as one of the boundaries of what Portlanders called “close-in Northwest,” an industrial area adjacent to the river.

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It was home to rail yards, breweries and warehouses. But by the late 1980s, the breweries had closed, and the rail yard had relocated its giant concrete turntable to SE Portland. Change was coming.

Today, Burnside bounds the Pearl District, a prosperous mixed-use neighborhood full of lofts, studios, galleries, restaurants and shopping. But Burnside’s gritty charms remain. You can see it in Powell’s, the City of Books housed in an amalgamation of warehouses joined together to make a square city block of books.  You can also see some original Burnside in Everyday Music, another vast emporium housed in converted industrial spaces. And you can see it in the work of the McMenamin brothers, Portland entrepreneurs who restored an ancient dance hall with a famous floating wooden dance floor and opened the Crystal Ballroom with Ringler’s Pub underneath.

Pendleton’s HQ sits where the Pearl District meets Portland’s Old Town, on NW Broadway, just east of the North Park Blocks. Burnside Avenue is only two blocks away. It continues to carry foot, bus, car and bike traffic through a part of Portland where the newness of the Pearl District rubs shoulders with history, and it carries it all comfortably. What better name could we find for a 100% cotton flannel shirt, peached on both sides of the fabric for softness, bar tacked for strength, and made in the kinds of plaids that say Pendleton?

That’s right. We called it the Burnside shirt, and we hope you like it.

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World Styling visits Pendleton, takes awesome photos!

Japanese lifestyle magazine mono presents a new publication;  “World Styling: A Journey for Timeless Masterpieces,” showcasing international high-quality brands.

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We were pleased to host the photographers and take them on a tour of our Washougal mill.

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We also welcomed the photographers to our design headquarters in Portland’s Old Town.

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We are proud to keep company with world brands like Louboutin and ic! Berlin. The photography is fantastic, as are the products shown, if we do say so ourselves. And please remember that you don’t have to be an international journalist to tour Pendleton Woolen Mills in Washougal WA or Pendleton OR. Stop by and see us!

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Princess Amber Big Plume and the Calgary Stampede

It’s rodeo week in Calgary, and despite the floods and challenges, the Calgary Stampede has been charging ahead! It’s been our pleasure this year to sponsor Indian Princess Amber Big Plume.

Amber Big Plume

Amber, a Law and Society student at the University of Calgary, is from the Tsuu T’ina Nation. Amber has had an exciting reign as Indian Princess, with international trips and appearances throughout Canada. She’s represented the Stampede, her nation, and Pendleton beautifully.

Our role was to provide clothing, fabric and blankets for some of Amber’s extensive royal wardrobe. Amber is affectionately referred to as “the pocket princess” by the Stampede staffers, so even with our petite sizes, we had trouble finding clothing petite enough for Amber. Thankfully, her skilled seamstress, Janine Stabner, could come to the rescue.

Janine Stabner and Amber Big Plume

Janine used Pendleton fabrics for ensembles she designed exclusively for Amber.

Amber Big Plume

Heather Hirsch was the genius behind the needle for Amber’s official overcoat, made from one of our Jerome blankets. Luckily, Heather had just enough fabric left to make a matching jacket for Amber’s sister, Kaitlyn.

Amber Big Plume

Amber Big Plume

The vertical orientation of the design is in honor of the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess and the people she represents. According to our friends at the Stampede, in Blackfoot culture, ceremonial members of the community commonly wear robes with the patterns oriented in this fashion.

A Pendleton Chief Joseph blanket was also part of Amber’s official serape, which was often worn by her mounts (those with hooves and those with wheels) during her numerous parade appearances.

Amber Big Plume

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It’s been our pleasure to support Amber. She has worked so hard this year. Though Amber’s time as Princess is drawing to a close, we will watch with pride as she finishes her degree and moves into her professional life. And we hope you will watch this slideshow with pride. It’s full of Amber’s highlights, including an incredible belt buckle, saddle, custom boots and more Pendleton!

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Pendleton Salutes Route 66

Pendleton commemorates America’s first completely paved highway with our Route 66 blanket.

Route 66 blanket by Pendleton

Route 66’s 2448 miles of two-lane highway fired the American imagination for sixty years.  John Steinbeck referred to it as “the Mother Road,” the path out of the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. It was the route of countless family road trips after the automobile took hold of American society in the 1950s. In 1953, it earned another unofficial name, “the Will Rogers Highway.”  Thanks to countless references in books, music and film, Route 66 became a genuine American icon, even inspiring its own TV series on CBS.

Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985, a casualty of the nation’s improved freeway system. On our blanket, the highway’s path still rolls across America with classic roadsters, retro road signs, rest stops, motels and diners. These quaint roadside attractions of Route 66 helped earn it the nickname, “America’s Main Street.”

You can read more about Route 66 in this excellent piece by TIME magazine.

Pendleton’s New Badlands Blanket!

Since the early 1900s, Pendleton has honored our nation’s parks with a growing collection of distinctive National Park blankets. Each blanket is woven in the company’s Pacific Northwest mills and Made in the USA.

The newest addition to the Park blanket collection for 2013 honors Badlands National Park, designated a national treasure by President Roosevelt in 1929, and home to one of the world’s richest fossil beds.
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Deep forest green, golden sunrise yellow, sunset orange and light earthy brown reflect the natural beauty of the landscape with its sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires. The Lakota knew the place as mako sica. Early French trappers called the area les mauvaises terres a traverser. Both mean “bad lands,” no doubt a reference to the rugged and treacherous terrain.

The story of how these special blankets began is a true American frontier story. In 1893, the Great Northern Railroad completed its transcontinental route two hundred miles north of Yellowstone National Park, too far away to attract visitors. Railroad President Louis V. Hill tirelessly promoted the establishment of a new national park along his rail line in Montana, leading to the establishment in 1910 of Glacier National Park.

Pendleton Woolen Mills was asked by Louis Hill’s father, James J. Hill (founder of the Great Northern Railroad), to design a one-of-a-kind blanket for his guests at the Glacier Park lodges. “In 1916 we introduced our first National Park Blanket for Glacier Park,” says Robert Christnacht, Worldwide Director of Sales for Pendleton. “These treasures are not only warm and practical, and a perfect souvenir from the parks, but a legacy to the entire park system and the expansion of the American West.” NatlPark_poster

In addition to the new Badlands blanket, other parks represented include Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Rainier, Acadia, Crater Lake and Glacier.

Each blanket bears the Pendleton label signifying its authenticity, along with a special label depicting an image with an important natural feature specific to each park. All blankets are 100% pure virgin wool. The Badlands, Glacier, and Yellowstone blankets are available in Twin, Full, and Queen sizes. All other National Park Blankets are available in Full and Queen only.

Thomas Kay Gear, Made in the USA

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As part of this year’s Thomas Kay Collection, we are offering select gear that echoes our founder’s craftsman ideals. The gear in the Thomas Kay Collection has been carefully chosen to reflect American standards of craftsmanship and integrity.

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For nearly eight decades, Zippo® has been manufacturing lighters in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Their patented windproof lighter is an American icon in peace and war. For the Thomas Kay Collection, we offer this 1941 Replica™  in brushed chrome with a vintage Pendleton logo engraved on the side: “Where quality decides, we always win. Pendleton Woolen Mills.”

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We didn’t go far to find the next product; the Thomas Kay Leatherman® tool is made by the Oregon company that has been manufacturing this indispensible tool since 1983. A stainless steel Leatherman® is 18 handy tools in one; knives, pliers, scissors, screwdriver, corkscrew and more. Our version is engraved with our vintage tilted logo, and presented in a Pendleton jacquard wool pouch.

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The Thomas Kay Camp Stool is also made in Oregon by the hands-on craftspeople at Wood and Faulk. This ingenious design combines hardwood, Pendleton wool and rugged leather. It’s is comfortable, collapsible and easy to carry, thanks to the detachable strap. You can see the manufacture and some really beautiful shots over at their blog.

We’re proud of this group of American-made products, and of the heritage that inspired them. Remember, “Where Quality Decides, We Always Win.”

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