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Posts from the ‘history’ Category

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.

TK_Lighter_open

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.”

photo-of-Thomas-Kay

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.

Picture 113

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.

HistoricBabbitWagonEdit2

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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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

Pendleton 150 press event for Fall 2013

Last Thursday at the Ace Hotel, the staff wore Beach Boys shirt, the room was full of the most beautiful Pendleton line imaginable, and the showroom was abuzz with press. If you were there, thank you for coming. If you were not, please enjoy a few photos!

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Greg Hatten says Hello.

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We mention Greg on this blog fairly often. He’s a wooden boat crafter and enthusiast, and he’s also just a great guy with infectious enthusiasm and tremendous knowledge of the rivers and byways of the American West. It was amazing enough that wooden boats ran the the Grand Canyon in 1962; it was just as amazing that Greg and his crew built wooden boats by hand and ran it again fifty years later.

Here’s a recent note from Greg:

It’s been a winter filled with rain, snow, and presentations on the Grand Canyon trip. I’ve been speaking A LOT & having fun doing it. I show my audiences the little video I created to tell the story. I was fortunate to meet Martin Litton and his wife last month down in California. He’s 96 years old & still remembers a lot of the details from his “river running” days. He gave me a number of old videos of his original trips from the early 60s. It was a memorable day.

Greg’s projects have a real connection to history and devotion to authenticity. We like to think Pendleton has some of the same.  Here is the video. Enjoy!

Special Edition Scarves Made in the USA for the Holidays

This holiday season,  wrap yourself in Pendleton luxury with our beautiful Siskiyou Muffler.

AllFour

Woven in four exclusive jacquards, these scarves interpret our heritage with contemporary style.  We thought you might enjoy knowing the stories behind the patterns; Siskiyou, Harding, Soft Grey Stripe and Ram’s Horn.

Siskiyou

Siskiyou

Siskiyou Wilderness via Wikicommons

The Siskiyou Mountains range across southern Oregon and northern California.Siskiyou means ‘bobtail’ in the language of the region’s Native Americans. Legend has it that as a party of rider crossed the mountains, a bobtail horse went lame and had to be abandoned high in the peaks. The range was known by that name ever after. The Native American horse and footpaths eventually grew into a trade route for early trappers and merchants. Thomas Kay, founder of the Pendleton weaving legacy, sent many goods south on the Siskiyou Trail. This pattern’s geometric points echo the peaks and ravines of the Siskiyou Mountains.

Harding

Harding

Hardings meeting Chiefs

The Harding jacquard, one of Pendleton’s earliest designs, is named for First Lady Florence Harding. This distinctive pattern was commissioned by chiefs of the Cayuse and Umatilla tribes in 1923, when President and First Lady Harding visited the Pacific Northwest to dedicate part of the old Oregon Trail. Pendleton’s weavers modified a Chief Joseph pattern for a fringed shawl for Mrs. Harding. The blanket has been in our line ever since. For our muffler, we’ve taken a tonal approach in shades of tan and cream.

Soft Grey Stripe

SoftGreyStripe

Navajo rugs and blankets are beautiful works of art, with early examples bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. Chinle Navajo weaving is named for the town where weaver Mary Cabot Wheelwright developed this unique style. Her goal was to revive traditional weaving methods and the use of vegetal dyes. Our Soft Grey Stripe weaves distinctive geometrics in subtle hues of charcoal, graphite and sand, translating the Navajo Chinle tradition into a distinctly modern jacquard pattern.

Ram’s Horn

RamsHorn

Vintage Pendleton Shirt Ad

Never turn your back on a ram. A stylized ram’s head with curling horns pays tribute to the mighty ram in this pattern from the Pendleton archives. We talk a lot about lambs when we talk about wool, but there would be no lambs without rams, would there? This jacquard pattern has dynamic loops and curls with a navy and green coloration that hearkens back to Black Watch Tartan.

The Pendleton blend of history, tradition and fashion is present is each of these beautiful mufflers. Best of all, they’re made in the USA. Available at http://www.pendleton-usa.com.

Made in the USA label

The Thomas Kay Collection: a Pioneer’s Legacy

photo of Thomas Kay

Pendleton Woolen Mills dates our founding to 1863, when an adventuresome young weaver named Thomas Kay settled in the brand new state of Oregon. The story of Pendleton began earlier in the mid-19th century when Thomas Kay was a bobbin boy in Yorkshire mills, working his way up to weaver before sailing for America to continue his training on the East coast.

In 1863, Thomas Lister Kay traveled by boat, burro and buggy to settle in the new state of Oregon. Using his genius for fabric, Thomas Kay staked his knowledge and integrity on the success of his mill, which soon turned out the first bolt of worsted wool west of the Mississippi. The Kay Woolen Mill was once the largest weaving facility in the West. It still stands as a working museum in Salem, Oregon, a symbol of pioneering spirit and innovative technology.

Thomas established a tradition of excellence by weaving the finest woolen textiles in America, a tradition he passed on to his daughter Fannie Kay Bishop and her sons. Six generations later, Thomas Kay’s descendants weave on at Pendleton Woolen Mills, heirs to his manufacturing legacy.  Every product is still “Warranted To Be A Pendleton,” an homage to Thomas Kay’s original commitment to quality.

Thomas Kay

In recognition of our founder, we have launched a signature brand for Pendleton Woolen Mills; The Thomas Kay Collection.  Inspired by Kay’s desire to weave woolens of the highest merit, Pendleton offers classic and traditional apparel and accessories for Men, Women and Home for Fall 2013.

The Thomas Kay Collection embodies a heritage of fabric craft and discovery. Richly patterned jacquard, tweed and plaid fabrics are woven by craftspeople in Pendleton’s Pacific Northwest mills. Each item has been carefully fashioned to reflect Thomas Kay’s history, marrying proper English refinement with a distinctly American sense of style. The Thomas Kay label stands for 150 years of honesty, artistry and authenticity.

A fitting introduction to the collection is found in this motto from the Pendleton archives: “Where Quality Decides, We Always Win”

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If you’d like to see more about the Thomas Kay line, please visit our Facebook page.

The Storks, their shirts, and another happy occasion.

You probably remember Bob and Melba Stork from this post, which featured their engagement gifts to each other. Here they are again with the same Pendleton shirts, but as you can see, they are not wearing them anymore. They made a gift of them to their granddaughter, Lauren, and her new husband, Drew.

Lauren &Drew

Lauren &Drew, Robert & Melba

Says Mrs. Stork, “Their wedding took place in Dallas, and all sixty of the invited friends and family enjoyed the weekend festivities.” Our congratulations to Lauren and Drew, and thanks for making us part of your family traditions.

Pendleton & Weddings

Here at Pendleton, we are so moved when people take the time to let us know the special ways they incorporate Pendleton into their lives. And that includes weddings!

Heather Bayles Photography

Quite a few editorial shoots use us for wedding or engagement photos.  But when we’re used as part of an actual wedding, as we were in the wedding of Zoe Fisher and Matt Johnson (photos by Heather Bayles Photography), we are incredibly proud.

Pendleton played a part in the engagement of Bob and Melba Stork. They were shopping in Pasadena, California on a spring day in 1951 when a store window with Pendleton shirts caught their attention. They looked at several patterns and decided on a red and green plaid as an engagement gift to each other.

Bob and Melba wore traditional bridal attire when they were married on October 27th, 1951, at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Temple City, California.

Storks Wedding, 10/27/1951

After the wedding, they left for a honeymoon trip to the Grand Canyon, where they stayed in a cabin near El Tovar. Bob set up a tripod to capture a picture of them wearing their shirts as a newly married couple.

Fifty years later, their twin daughters and their husbands organized a golden wedding anniversary celebration for the Storks, their family and friends at the Grand Canyon. This photo was taken near the spot where the first photo was taken; a short distance from their honeymoon cabin.

Storks Anniversary, 10/2001

The Storks have worn their shirts as jackets many times over the 61 years of their marriage. They have been part of travels throughout the United States, and Melba says, “(they) are as bright, fashionable and warm as they were when we purchased them 61 years ago.”

Bob and Melba Stork were married 61 years on October 27, 2012. Bob is 93, and Melba is a bit younger. They still travel, but they won’t be taking their Pendleton shirts with them anymore. They are passing them down to their granddaughter, Lauren, and her fiance, Drew, who will be married this coming February. We will count ourselves lucky to get a photo of the “kids” in these shirts.

The next wedding we’re going to show you took place last winter, when Celeste Grewe and Joshua Bond said “I do” at Camp Creek Campground in the Mt Hood National Forest. After the bridal party wended its way through a snow-carpeted forest, the ceremony took place in front of the camp kitchen for the CCC workers in 1936.

Bond wedding photography by Mike at Powers Studios.

Josh and Celeste met while working at a local snowboard shop called Exit Real World (with whom we did a collaboration some years back). The mountain has played an important part in their relationship, so it was fitting that they were married at 2200 ft elevation.

Celeste had this to say; “We wanted our wedding to really reflect Oregon, and especially to give our out-of-town guests a great feel for the history of the state. Both our families raised us with Pendleton products. Pendleton has a longstanding history with Oregon and the Northwest. It was important to incorporate a traditional element into our wedding, which is where we got the blanket ceremony (plus it was really cold last February). It was also a wonderful way to ask our parents to be involved with the ceremony.”

First, the bride and groom were wrapped in Crater Lake National Park blankets by their fathers. This symbolized their separate lives. These blankets were removed and held by their maid of honor and best man. Then the mothers of the bride and groom wrapped them in a white Glacier National Park blanket to symbolize their shared future.

The Crater Lake blankets were presented to the mothers as gifts.  Celeste said of the Glacier blanket, “It’s a show piece in our home.” She is happy with how the national park blankets hearken back to “…the early part of the 1900s, the national parks, and the CCC and WPA, and the 1940s time frame of the ring I inherited from my paternal grandmother.” As you watch the slideshow (photos by Mike at Powers Studios), watch for other Pendleton items on the guests and bridal party.

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To all of our friends who have made Pendleton part of their weddings, we say, best wishes for the future. May your beginnings be sweet, and may your lives together be wonderful. Thanks for letting us be a part of both.

Happy New Year!

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