Symbols of rebirth, fresh beginnings, good luck and prosperity seem more than appropriate for the first blanket in the Pendleton Woolen Mills “Legendary” series featuring Mississippian designs.
Chickasaw artist Dustin Mater said that the design on the “Spring” blanket is based on the ancient culture that brought new life and a creative spark to his artwork. “I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil, but I spent years trying to find my inspiration,” said Mater. “I was drawing monsters and doing abstract art painting and stuff that didn’t really have meaning, just finding what I could do. I never thought my art had anything to offer my family or my tribe.”
On Wednesday, March 21, Greg Hatten and company left Springfield, Oregon to start a Grand Adventure; the recreation of a historically significant trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in boats that “linked” Oregon to the history of river running through that National Park.
This weekend (starting March 3rd, 2012), collectors will have a chance to purchase Pendleton’s Vintage Collection Blankets at 20% off during the Retired Blanket Sale.
These blankets were introduced in 2008 to offer the aged allure of a vintage wool blanket to boutique customers and collectors.
Our 2008 wholesale catalog copy described the blankets: “At first glance, these lovely blankets seems to have been discovered in the hacienda of a beloved grandmother. But they are newly woven in our own Northwest woolen mills. The blankets reflect both our reverence for Pendleton history and the wealth of design inspiration in our design archives. We have given these fresh interpretations a luxurious finish with the rich patina of age – a fitting tribute to our heritage. The stonewashed, distressed surface lends the feeling of a well-loved and well cared for heirloom. The colors are softly muted and the hand is sumptuously soft.”
What these beautiful words can’t describe is the hard work, experimentation and sheer number of blankets that went into refining the “aging” of a Pendleton Vintage Collection blanket.
“We burned through so many of them!” says Robert Christnacht, the head of the Pendleton Home Division. “We wove and finished the blankets in our mills, minus any labels. Then we sent them to an outside commercial laundry, where they were washed and shrunk down to the right dimensions. It was a huge job to get the process right, because we wanted to take out a certain amount of color and we needed the right appearance and hand. Time after time, we’d pull a load of wool mush out of the machine. We’d have to start over.”
Our newest store is opening!
The Shops at Worthington Place
7227 N. High Street, Suite #117
Worthington, OH 43085
Here at Pendleton, we’re watching the second season of Portlandia (Fridays 9 PM IFC) with eagle eyes. Portlandia, for those who might not know, is the IFC’s hit show that skewers the “Keep Portland Weird” specifics of our home city.
Along with springtime, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is coming soon. From February 8th through 12th, the Washington State Convention Centerwill host a beautiful array of events and vendors.
The display gardens will be amazing!
Pendleton Woolen Mills has partnered with the show in supporting the Seattle Children’s Play Garden, through the sale of a special edition of our Counting Sheep blanket.
This past fall, Zoe Fisher and Matt Johnson tied the knot under an ancient tree in Portland’s Laurelhurst Park. The bride was beautiful and the groom was handsome, but here at Pendleton, our attention was drawn to the row of attending men.
All the Young Dudes…
There they are, standing proud in our Dude Cardigan, Pendleton’s tribute to the Westerley worn by Jeff Bridges as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski.”
Today’s slide show of our Washougal Mill is brought to you by our new Menswear designer, Eli Hoshor. He’s a gifted designer, but he’s also a fantastic photographer. His eye for detail makes these photos shine. But before you have a look at them, let’s find out a little about Eli.
His last position was with Ralph Lauren, and when asked if Portland is a big change for a man from Manhattan, he laughed out loud. “I grew up on a farm in Ohio, so it’s not as big a change and you think.” He left Ohio for New York to attend FIT for menswear design, and has also worked for Tommy Hilfiger and J Crew. “This isn’t as corporate an experience, and I like that. I can tell I’m working for a family business.”
Eli’s goal as a designer is to “highlight essence of Pendleton menswear.” He’s been digging deep into the archives, which he calls “the real goldmine when it comes to authenticity. There’s nothing fake about Pendleton. The historical element of the brand is awesome.” As he points out, “This is the first company I’ve worked for that owns its own mills!”
So let’s go share Eli’s tour of the Washougal mill, from scales and bales to labels and lengths.
When an especially unique vintage Pendleton garment comes through our design areas, it can cause a stir. It’s like a new baby. People from other divisions come to visit, photos circulate in email, and everyone asks a lot of questions. What was it called? When was it made? And most importantly, what will we do with it?
A jacquard coat that came to the sewing room of the Men’s division was no exception. The Crossroads pattern was bold and dramatic, and the coloration was unique. Menswear decided to bring it back, so Fabric Design got to work redesigning and coloring the pattern. Womenswear and Home saw the possibilities…and that’s how a corporate jacquard is born.
From the sheep to the shelf, Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® passes strict standards of sustainability and stewardship. That sounds admirable, doesn’t it? But those lofty words would mean nothing at all if Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® products weren’t soft, richly colored and delightful to touch.
There are many, many products out there claiming to be green. Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® has been Cradle to Cradle Certified© by MBDC, a respected product and process design firm dedicated to promoting sustainable production. If you’re curious, you can find out more here. The best way to explain it? If you were to take a Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® blanket and bury it (but please don’t!), it would leave the earth better, not worse, for the addition.
Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® is an innovation in the Umatilla wool we’ve woven for over a century that uses nontoxic biodegradable dyes. Pendleton is known for the depth and intensity of our colors. Vegetable dyes are not as stable as chemical dyes, and the formula took some tinkering, especially the red spectrum. But with a great deal of trial and a reasonable amount of error, we produced Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® that we could guarantee for quality.
So maybe you want to wrap yourself up in environmental responsibility this year, or maybe you just want something beautiful, wooly and Pendleton. In either case, we have plenty to show you.