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Posts from the ‘history’ Category

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. 

Thomas Kay Cover

 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!

Kagavi’s Vintage Football Blanket, made by Pendleton

We do so many custom blankets over the course of any given year, but the blanket we’ve done for Kagavi has a particularly interesting backstory. The concept and design are woven together from college football lore and the personal history of Kagavi’s founder, Joshua Kagavi.

Using the earliest college football jerseys as inspirations, Joshua designed a blanket that celebrates the achievements of Jack Trice, “…a tall broad man with a soft smile who became Iowa State University’s first black athlete in 1922.” This is a fascinating tale, and you should read it here, in Josh’s words.

And then, there’s the blanket:


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Beautiful, yes? Napped for loft and warmth, blanket-stitched edges and Pendleton craftsmanship in a limited edition. For more information, you can go here. And go read the story.

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.

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.

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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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.

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