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Posts from the ‘Made in the USA’ Category

More Wool Fun Facts for January



More fun facts about wool from another one of our old Education & Testing Department pieces:

Wool History:

Wool has been an integral part of human life and culture. One of its nicknames is the fiber of civilization.

The sheep industry began in central Asia over 10,000 years ago.

Wool-spinning began in 3500 BC. The first sheep were black; white sheep were a genetic exception that became highly prized because they produce dyeable fiber. Today, black sheep are the genetic exception.

In biblical times, wool was used to collect water; a fleece was left out overnight in the desert to draw dew, to be wrung out the next morning.

Wool fiber has overlapping scales. When heat, moisture and pressure are applied, the scales interlock into an irreversible tangle, as you may have discovered if you ever accidentally washed and dried your favorite wool sweater. This is called “felting.”

Wool was probably first used in felted form as lining for helmets and armor, padding for sandals, cushions for riding horses and camels, and as durable, portable housing for nomadic peoples.

For Asian nomads, wool was so important that in the fourth century, the Chinese called their territory “the land of felt.”

Today, felt is used in felt-tip pens, industrial applications, garments and heavy-duty wool blankets.


The Politics of Wool:

Spain recognized the commercial value of wool, making it a capital offense to export merino sheep.

England’s first great industry was wool. In the Middle Ages, it was the natrion’s largest export resource, with every European country relying on England for wool.

Germany eventually broke England’s hold on the wool market in 1765, when a Spanish king sent 92 rams and 128 ewes to Germany. By the turn of that century, Germany was flooding England’s wool market.

The Medici family of Florence, Italy built their wealth on the wool trade. Their banking industry allowed them the financial ease to offer patronage to artists like Dante, da Vinci and Michelangelo.

Australia’s economy is based on wool and sheep. The first sheep arrived in Australia in 1788 on an English ship full of convicts.

The American Revolution was in part ignited by a stiff tariff imposed to restrict American wool trade to England.


Wool Language:

“Dyed in the wool” means genuine and permanent.

To “fleece him” means to swindle him.

To “pull the wool over his eyes” is to fool him.

“Shoddy” is also a wool reference. The term meant re-used wool in Civil War times, and became associated with inferior workmanship.

A “spinster” was an unmarried woman who earned her keep by spinning wool.

A “wolf in sheep’s clothing” is a predator disguised with gentleness.

A “bellwether” is the lead sheep in a flock, and is used to note a change or new direction.


More fun facts about the properties of wool will be coming your way this month, because January is a wonderful month for staying warm, and wool does that so well. 

Congratulations to our Ducks for a Fantastic Season.

We are so proud of our Ducks. It’s been a fantastic season. And if you are wondering, yes, we had the blanket designed and the loom threaded in yellow and green. It would have been a wonderful moment to hit that switch and run those blankets, but there’s always next season.

As you know, we are a family owned and operated concern, with that family being the Bishops. The Bishop family goes way back with University of Oregon football. In 1894, the University of Oregon’s first football team took the field. They were known as the Webfoots back then, after a group of Massachusetts fishermen who played heroic roles in the American Revolutionary War. The U of O Webfoots didn’t score a touchdown that first season, but Oregonians are tough. They came back ready to play in 1895.

Below is a team photo of the 1895 team (the ball is proudly emblazoned with that player’s upcoming year of graduation). In both photos, he is second from the right in the lower row, wearing a turtleneck and one of the less outrageous haircuts sported by the players, is young Clarence Morton Bishop. And wouldn’t you know it, he is credited with making the first touchdown in the school’s collegiate football games in 1895.



Below is another archival item on the football career of “the first Mort” as he is referred to around here. Click for a larger view.


And hey. GO DUCKS!


Pendleton Heritage Umatilla Wool — VIDEO


We are Pendleton Woolen Mills, and wool is what we do.  So here are some amazing wool facts for you, courtesy of us, from our trusty “Wool, A Natural” booklet, a little classroom staple for many years now.

Wool is a Miracle Fiber that Stands the Test of Time

Wool is a natural fiber, growing from the follicles of sheep. In a time of sustainability and environmental consciousness, this renewable resource remains longer-lasting and better looking than anything man-made. Even though advanced processing methods have made wool more versatile and easy care, man has not improved the miracle fiber itself. 

Wool is Naturally Resilient and Wrinkle Resistant

This is due to the ability of the fiber to spring back into shape after bending, creasing, or compression. Resilience gives wool its ability to hold a shape, resist wrinkles and withstand wear. This makes wool great for travel. It resists tearing because it’s flexible. Wool can bend back on itself 20,000 times without breaking (cotton only 3200 times before breaking/silk 1800 times/rayon only 75 times). Wool can be stretched or twisted and its cells return to their original position.

Wool is Naturally Comfortable

Wool fibers cannot be packed down. They spring back to shape keeping their open, porous nature. Wool provides the most warmth with the least weight. The air that is trapped inside (about 80% of wool fabric volume) makes wool an excellent insulator to keep the body at its normal temperature year round: warm in winter and cool in summer. Wool is the original outdoor “performance” fiber. 

Wool is Naturally Water and Stain Repellent

Wool repels light water, like a rain shower, because of the membrane on the outer scales. In very wet conditions, wool absorbs up to 30% of its own weight without feeling damp. And because of insulation ability, wool “breathes,” allowing the body’s natural moisture to pass through. The hairy surface of wool and its freedom from static make it the easiest of all fabrics to keep clean or to clean after soiling. 

Wool Maintains its Luster and Resists Fading

Wool has a permanent natural luster it never loses even after years of hard wear. It absorbs dyes until it is completely saturated so colors stay brilliant in spite of sunshine, perspiration and impurities in the atmosphere. No other fiber can be spun or woven into such a variety of weights, textures, finishes and colors. 

Wool is Naturally Flame Retardant

Unless it is in direct contact with flame, wool will extinguish itself. The denser the weave and the greater the fabric weight, the less likely it is even to char because of its smaller oxygen content. Fire departments and insurance companies recommend the use of wool blankets, rugs or coats to put out flames.

We will be bringing you more fun facts about wool this month, because January is an excellent month for keeping warm. 


#PendletonPups on Instagram: Big Dogs Rule, too

A beautiful Husky on a Chief Joseph blanket.


Pendleton, with the ones we love. #pendleton #pendletonblankets #Dog #woof #outdoor #nature #campfire #lovedones @dmp1985

A photo posted by Pendleton Woolen Mills (@pendletonwm) on

Just hanging out with the people.


Loki the wolf dog is one of our favorites. He lives a rugged outdoor lifestyle with his person.


Can't get enough :) big boy teeth! #SamsungNX1000 #dogsofinstagram #Hudson #pendlepuppy @pendletonwm

A photo posted by Lady Larri (Larissa) (@n8vl8ylarri) on

Here’s a charming smile for you.


Finally got his own. #pendleton #adognamedpendleton #pendletonwoolenmills

A photo posted by Andrew Moritz (@andrewwmoritz) on

Looking dapper in a kerchief, this blue-eyed beauty takes modeling very seriously.


A Golden fashion statement.


He looks a little guilty, as if he can’t quite believe his luck.


@kristencamden #honey #puppy #cuddle #hypoallergenic #labradoodle #soft #sweet #pendleton

A photo posted by Kyrie Maezumi (@windnstars) on

A Labradoodle on a Pendleton Chimayo throw.


Somebody just woke up from a nap. She's resting for my off day. Going fishing and adventuring! 🎣🐶 #adventuresofshy

A photo posted by Travis Hallmark (@travishallmark) on

Shy is a wee pup now, but we know she’s going to grow up to be big dog.


Same with Foster, who is enamored of his Pendleton scrap toy.

Foster just loves to roll around #foster #socuteithurts #pendleton photo cred: @richcrowder

A photo posted by Ayelet Katz (@yellowkatz) on


With Good Wool to All, and to all a Good Night.


#pendletonpups on Instagram: Connie the Corgie needs his own post.

Connie the Corgi is a blue-eyed charmer with his own Instagram account.

Good morning Instagram! What are you all up to this weekend?

A photo posted by Connie the Corgi (@conniethecorgi) on


He has a true love of Pendleton.

Saturday mornings with Connie. He always wakes me up nice and early.

A photo posted by Connie the Corgi (@conniethecorgi) on


He is a playful fellow.

Happy Movember! 😛 This is my entry to @ichaity and @pitterpatterfurryfeet's Movember contest #Movember2014Contest.

A photo posted by Connie the Corgi (@conniethecorgi) on


And quite well-dressed in his flannel plaid.

On Fridays we wear flannel. #flannelfriday

A photo posted by Connie the Corgi (@conniethecorgi) on


When he is worn out, he appears to appreciate relaxing on Pendleton’s Made in the USA wool blankets.

Enough photos, it's time for bed. Goodnight everyone! 💤

A photo posted by Connie the Corgi (@conniethecorgi) on


Especially if Dad is around.

Thanksgiving, part two. #after @conniethecorgi #pendleton #YakimaCampBlanket #pendledog #pendletonblankets #madeinUSA

A photo posted by Pendleton Woolen Mills (@pendletonwm) on


We think Connie looks like he’s a lot of fun.

Leaving this li'l guy in the morning on work days is the pits. Thank goodness it's Friday!

A photo posted by Connie the Corgi (@conniethecorgi) on


Connie, thanks for your brand support. And go fetch that ball.

"What do you MEAN we can't play fetch in bed?"🎾

A photo posted by Connie the Corgi (@conniethecorgi) on



Some Lindsey Thornburg and Pendleton News



Lindsey Thornburg is in the news again with her beautiful cloaks made with Pendleton wool. Blake Lively was caught by the paparazzi in a cloak made with the Raven blanket.


(images courtesy eonline and Us magazine)

You can find this cloak for sale at Blake’s site, where she has curated her favorite American products. And here’s the blanket and story.


The Raven blanket is a fine example of Coast Indian artistic style. Here’s the legend behind the pattern:

North American Indian folklore reflects the many stories surrounding animal spirits. Every animal has a reason for existence and a legend of how and why they are on Mother Earth. Raven is the counterpart of Coyote. Even though Raven can be an expert trickster, often fooling other animals out of food or shelter, Raven can also be a friend when other animals need help. With sharp eyes, he has a keen skill of knowing when danger lurks. Raven identifies the danger and notifies all other animals in the desert or forest to be cautious or to hide. Raven is a solid reminder and teacher of the good versus evil and is always available if there is a decision to be made. The Blanket exemplifies the black colored feathers of Raven; the red color of potential danger that surrounds him. The blanket is bordered with the Sun, Moon and Stars that are celestial facets of Raven’s life.


Lindsey has also done a collaborative blanket with us based on hand-dyed devoré velvet fabric designed by Lindsey and created by Tye Dye Mary®.

Lindsey_Thornburg_Tie_Dye_Frnt_ZE493-53083 (2)

Isn’t that amazing? Lindsey works with so many fabric artists to produce her line, and we are excited to be one of them. We hope you’re having a terrific December, and that you’re staying warm, wherever you are. Like Blake. Who is looking fabulous and staying warm in Pendleton wool.


Something Very Special for the Holidays: Batik Throws for Pendleton by Tricia Langman

This holiday season, Pendleton is proud to offer a limited edition of work by Tricia Langman, co-founder and design director of Spoogi, an international print design studio based on Portland, Oregon.

Tricia, a British textile designer with West African heritage, grew up in London surrounded by print and pattern. She’s a worldwide teacher of design and technique. She  has designed and produced a unique collection for Pendleton Woolen Mills using traditional Batik techniques from Java, Indonesia.

Trish-BatikTricia hand-draws her original design on a specially produced Pendleton blanket, and hand-paints the design with wax.


She hand-dyes each blanket in her Portland, Oregon studio.


Pendleton is proud to offer these works of art in very limited editions, each numbered and signed by the artist.



Available here.



“The New West” By Pendleton for Levi’s© Made and Crafted™

pendleton_hunterlawrence-copyright 2104

Levi’s© Made and Crafted™ collection for Fall 2014/Winter 2015  takes inspiration from the architecture of Seattle and Portland, two cities that inhabit the wild landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Natural beauty is almost taken for granted here. Sometimes it takes  appreciation from outside the area to help us remember the wonder of our region.

One city is built along Puget Sound, and the other is bisected by the Willamette River and bordered by the mighty Columbia. The Cascade Mountains tower behind the Seattle skyline, resembling clouds. Both cities sit near inactive volcanoes; Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood. The designers for Levi’s have used this interplay of  city and mountain, indoors and outdoors, old and new, to inspire their newest Made and Crafted™ collection. The silhouettes, texture and color palette reflect the natural and manmade beauty, with a nod to the Northern Lights for good measure.

Using these deep natural inspirations, Levi’s© has partnered with Pendleton Woolen Mills to portray the  landscapes of the Pacific Northwest with shades of indigo to reflect Levi’s© rich history with denim.

collageThis beautiful blanket is available at We suggest you take it along on your next adventure.




Photos by Hunter Lawrence 2014©. All rights reserved by Pendleton Woolen Mills.

Pendleton’s Tamiami Trail Blanket and Seminole Patchwork

Tamiami_Trail_FrntPendleton’s Tamiami Trail blanket has been making some noise this year, showing up on the pages of Lucky:






The most exciting appearance was on Blake Lively, wearing a Lindsey Thornburg cloak that you can find on


That’s quite a bit of press for one blanket. People are responding to the intricate, colorful pattern, but there is a story behind the Tamiami Trail blanket. And it isn’t just a good story. It’s an amazing story about resourcefulness and creativity thriving in diaspora.

Tamiami Trail’s design is based on Seminole patchwork designs used in quilts and clothing. By the end of the Seminole Wars in 1858, the Seminole population of Florida was reduced from thousands to a few hundred. By the late 1800s, most had been driven out of Florida, but small bands remained in the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp. Seminoles quietly retained their culture — farming, hunting alligators and visiting trading posts along the Miami River with pelts and egret plumes to trade for supplies. Their thatch-roofed homes were called chickees, and they traveled in dugout canoes made from cypress logs.

It was a long canoe trip from the Everglades to trade for cotton cloth. Seminole women began sewing with whatever materials and scraps they could find, including survey pennants, fabric selvedges and end-bolts. The patterns themselves tell stories. Click here to read about  the symbology of these patterns. “Strip clothing” became the traditional dress for Seminole men and women.

Below is a Seminole strip dress from the permanent collection of the Met.


The sewing machine became available to Seminole seamstresses around the end of the 19th century. “A sewing machine in every chickee” was the rallying cry. Seminole quilting evolved using ever-smaller and more intricate piecing.

In 1928 the Tamiami Trail, the highway from Tampa to Miami, opened. The Seminole saw new trade opportunities in the tourist market for crafts such as patchwork and palmetto dolls.

So yes, This is a beautiful blanket. But its design tells a larger story about a beautiful Seminole artistic tradition. Their entrepreneurial success along the Tamiami Trail is a testimony to Seminole resilience. Strip clothing is still made and worn today, and it’s every bit as beautiful.

Additional information here:


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