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Posts from the ‘heritage’ Category

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.

image courtesy of vintageportland.wordpress.com

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.

World Styling cover

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

Amberinconvertible

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.
ParkBlanket_Badlands

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

Thomas-Kay-Signature

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.”

TK_Leatherman_Box-and-bag

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.

TK_CampStool

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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The Babbitt Wagon

If you know anything about Portland’s Rose Festival, you know that Portlanders love our Grand Floral Parade. We love it enough that year after year, we stand (and sit and camp overnight, but that is a different story) on our city’s curbs to watch it, no matter the weather. Covered in slickers and trash bags, umbrellas and newspapers over our heads, we watch the well-watered floats go by. But not this year! We had gorgeous (and long) days throughout the festival, especially the day of the big parade.

2009 Rose Show 144

2009 Rose Show 153

Which reminded everyone around here of our last entry in Grand Floral Parade. Yes, that was our entry, decorated by Pendleton volunteers.

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We were delighted that it won a blue ribbon, but we shouldn’t have been surprised. It isn’t just any wagon; it’s a Babbitt Brothers wagon.

Babbit Red Crown Trading post

This is one of the original wagons used by the Babbitt brothers, five shopkeepers who came west in 1886 to make their mark. They founded the C O Bar cattle ranch, as well as opening a mercantile in Flagstaff. In time, their success with commerce outpaced their success with cattle. Over the next 100 years, the Babbitts owned and operated over twenty trading posts, doing business with the Navajo, Hopi and Apache tribes.

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Library photo

Babbitt’s is still active and thriving (and working with Pendleton). Thanks to the generosity of the Babbitt family, this historic wagon was used quite a bit when we celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the opening of Pendleton Woolen Mill in Pendleton. It made a visit to the Pendleton Round-Up.

round-up

And the blue-ribbon-winning wagon (plain, of course, it hasn’t been bedecked in quite a while) is currently residing in the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store. Its rather grand history makes a nice backdrop for displays of our blankets.

Babbitt wagon

Babbitt close-up

We will be transporting it back to the Babbitts eventually, but until we do, please feel free to stop by and see it. This wagons has made so many trips, it is truly part of the history of the West.

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The Rose & Flower Show

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Portland is called The City of Roses for a reason; we have roses. Do we ever have roses. We have a the Portland Rose Festival, with its parades, City Fair, and Rose Festival Court. We have the International Rose Test Garden.  Roses fill our gardens, tended or not, and thrive in empty lots and freeway medians. Roses are everywhere in Portland, thanks to our uniquely suitable climate.

Today, the Pendleton building is full of roses. Yes, it’s the annual Rose & Flower show in our office. Have a peek at the beauties brought in today. Some are simple antique roses with flat, fragrant faces, and other bow under the weight of their many-petaled, heavy-headed splendor.  Lilies and peonies love Portland, as well, and you can see some of those on the entry table. Just take a look at these beauties.

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We’re also having a company-wide ice cream social, where the winners will be announced. Tomorrow is the Grand Floral Parade, one of the largest parades in the country. So happy Rose Festival to you all from the City of Roses.

 

P.S.  Here is the “Best Rose” winner. It is almost nine inches across!

Winner

A Blanket that makes a Difference on Memorial Day

At Pendleton, we are thankful when one of our blankets can help make a difference. This is the case with our Grateful Nation blanket.

The Grateful Nation blanket  honors the sacrifice of brave men and women who have defended freedom throughout the history of the United States of America. Each authentically colored stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts in which our country has engaged:

  • World War II Asiatic Pacific Campaign
  • World War II Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
  • Korean Service
  • US Vietnam Service
  • Southwest Asia Service (Gulf War)
  • War on Terrorism

A portion of every blanket’s sale goes to support the Fisher House Foundation and its mission to support the families of veterans. As their website states:

Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers nationwide and in Europe.   Fisher Houses are beautiful homes, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs.  These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time – during the hospitalization for a combat injury, illness or disease… Since 1990, the foundation has saved military, veterans and their families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

On Memorial Day and every day, Pendleton is proud to honor the men and women of our Armed Services.

Made in the USA label

Wool & Prince

Wool & Prince

You’ve heard about it on the radio, seen it on YouTube, read about it in the paper and on innumerable blogs  all over the world. Yes, we are talking about the 100 Day Shirt by Wool & Prince, the new company Kickstarted  by Mac Bishop. We have fielded quite a few queries about this project because the shirt Mac wears in his video is actually a Sir Pendleton. So, here are some Pendleton answers to your Wool & Prince questions.

Was Pendleton aware that their shirt was being used by Wool & Prince?

Yes, we were aware the shirt worn in the video is a Sir Pendleton. Mac Bishop is a proud member of the sixth generation of Pendleton’s Bishops, and he’s worn Pendleton products his entire life.

Were you surprised by Wool & Prince’s claim that your Sir Pendleton was wrinkle and odor-free after being worn for 100 consecutive days without cleaning?

We were not. We have been making men’s wool shirts for 90 years, and we understand the attributes of wool. Even though there is no such thing as a self-cleaning shirt, a wool shirt will refresh itself when allowed to rest after a wearing. We’re excited that Wool & Prince is illuminating the qualities of wool to new consumers.

Have you ever subjected any of your wool shirts to a similar test?

Pendleton’s consumers have been wear-testing our Men’s shirts since 1924. That’s why we’re not surprised at the outstanding results.

Is Pendleton producing the Wool & Prince brand?

No. Mac Bishop has developed his own fabric and sourced production independently.

Is Pendleton planning any changes to the line based on the excitement generated by Wool & Prince’s slimmer fit shirts?

We have been doing great business with our Fitted shirts, which we introduced years ago. Our contemporary brand, The Portland Collection, offers a trim fit, and this fall we are launching a new brand, Thomas Kay, celebrating our founder and 150 years of weaving in America. The garments in this collection (including new shirt models and fabrics) have a modern, tailored fit. Which is all just our way of saying that we have been working on a more body-conscious fit for a few years.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, you can watch the Wool & Prince video here.

For excellent background on Wool & Prince, read Fast Company’s profile .

And for more information on wool, see our website.

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