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Posts from the ‘pendleton products’ Category

The Original Westerley: Dude, it’s finally back.

ColoradoManager&signYou may know it as The Dude’s cardigan or the Big Lebowski sweater, but we debuted the Westerley cardigan in 1974 as part of our High Grade Westernwear line.

Original History

The Westerley drew inspiration from beautiful Cowichan sweaters that are hand-knit by Pacific Northwest tribes. Our version was machine-knitted by Winona Knitting Mills of Minnesota, a two-facility company owned by the Woodworth family. Winona Mills was one of the very few USA knitting mills who offered a 2gg knit, a term meaning only two knit stitches per inch. A 2gg sweater is heavy enough to work as outerwear. As the long-time leader of our menswear division expressed it, “You could wear it in a monsoon, and you’d stay warm.”

The vintage Westerley was knit in 3gg, and it was almost as impressive as the 2gg for thickness and warmth. The Westerley was one cozy sweater. We offered it in the western, outdoor and casual lines for over ten years. Over its run of production, the zip front, ring zipper pull and shawl collar stayed the same, as did the Greek key-inspired pattern. Archival visits show that the Westerley’s color variations are surprisingly wide.

The sweater went out of production in the 1980s, but found the limelight in the early 2000s, thanks to an obscure movie that didn’t stay obscure.

The Big Lebowski

This Coen brothers film was released to low to middling success in 1998, but quietly grew into a cult favorite. No one can pinpoint the exact reason why. Was it Donny’s clueless questions? Walter’s chin-strap beard? The German nihilists? The dream sequence scored by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition?

Well, it was probably a grand confluence of all of these important factors, plus the masterful turn taken by Jeff Bridges as The Dude. He staggers in and out of trouble, wearing alternately sweats, shorts, pajama pants, a bathrobe, a purple t-shirt and a battered Westerley cardigan.

Jeff Bridges wore his own clothes for this role, and though there were two sweaters hand-knitted as back-ups, he preferred wearing his personal Pendleton Westerley.

“The Big Lebowski” continues to grow as a cultural phenomenon. It’s not a movie anymore, it’s a lifestyle. Its fans, the Achievers, have conventions and their own documentary. And as the movie’s audience has grown, so has the demand for a re-creation of The Dude’s sweater.

The First Revivals

Pendleton’s first run at reproducing the “Big Lebowski sweater” came in the Fall of 2011. The Dude Cardigan was not an exact replica. It had the weight and coloration of the original Westerley, with a slightly different knit pattern and a leather zipper pull. This homage sweater generated an enormous amount of publicity, especially because the sweater worn by Jeff Bridges in the movie was going to auction that same year. The provenance of the auction sweater came into question and it was withdrawn from auction. Pendleton’s version sold out almost immediately.

New Dude

In Fall 2013, we brought back the sweater in the original 3gg knit under the Westerley name. We went to the archives, and settled on two versions: a cream with red and black pattern, and a desert brown version with navy and gold pattern.

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We offered the Westerley in another archival coloration in charcoal and blue early in the fall of 2014.  These were all great Westerleys. They were archivally accurate, beautifully made and selling well to fans of traditional menswear. We stand behind these Westerleys!

But this was not the sweater the Achievers wanted, and the Achievers would not be denied.

The Original Westerley

Well, it’s here. We have researched the archives and studied the movie to capture the coloration as best we can for our newest version, known as The Original Westerley.

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This is 100% lambswool in 3gg knit, and it’s ready to take you through your next monsoon, or maybe to your next Lebowskifest. We’ve even restored the ring zipper pull, to which we’ve attached a small bowling pin keychain. We think it really pulls the sweater together.

The Dude abides. And so does his sweater. Come see us in our stores (see Ben, the manager of our Colorado store, above), or order online before they’re gone.

 

Pendleton Chocolates by ALMA: delicious.

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Everyone is helping themselves to our Pendleton Chocolates by ALMA! Just a little reminder to get your hands on them soon at our retail stores (and yes, they can help you over the phone).

Dawg Grog: Because Dogs Deserve It

First, anyone reading this from out-of-state needs to understand that Oregonians love Oregon. We love  the mountains, the rivers, the ocean, the cities. We love the biking, the hiking, the climbing, the skiing. We love the dining-out scene, the wine country, the craft breweries, the makers’ markets. Oregonians love all these things, but what do we love most of all?

Our dogs.

Danimal and Lola Jane, Pendleton wool blanket, photography Skyler Hughes

Yes. That’s right. We love our dogs more than anything! We want to share all our best adventures with them. That’s why dogs are everywhere here, on trails, on the beach, at dog parks, on the leash at the Oregon Garden, under the tables at so many places that let us dine out with our dogs. Oregon is Dog Nirvana.

And that’s why there’s Dawg Grog. Because Dawg Grog is beer. For dogs. Well, it’s as close to beer for dogs as you can get.

Please understand, there’s no alcohol in this brew. No hops, nothing that would harm a dog. In fact, there’s a lot in Dawg Grog that will help your dog, especially if he’s getting a little creaky in the hips.

To quote the company website:

Daniel Keeton launched his business in the summer of 2012 with one idea in mind, to supply the dog friendly community of Bend, Oregon with a delicious and nutritional liquid treat. Living in Bend since 2001, Daniel’s love for craft beer and dogs spawned an idea – Develop a liquid treat for dogs that incorporated the craft beer side of things while having a nutritional value specifically for dogs. Knowing that hops are poisonous for dogs and that dogs don’t process alcohol like us humans do, Daniel discovered that the brewers wort, made in the primary process of beer making, would make for a delicious base for his product. The brewers wort with the addition of K9 vegetarian glucosamine and a trace mineral supplement would make for the ultimate liquid dog treat.

And there you have it! A craft-brewed, healthy treat for your dog that satisfies your own urge to crack a cold one with your canine, because (as we’ve stated here repeatedly) in Oregon, we want to share all our best experiences with our dogs.

Danimal and Lola Jane, Pendleton wool blanket, photography Skyler Hughes

Here’s Dawg Grog’s founder, Daniel, AKA Danimal, with Lola Jane. As you can see, they travel in style in a ’63 Fairlane.

Danimal and Lola Jane, Pendleton wool blanket, photography Skyler Hughes

This is the official Dawg Grog ride, with a header and dog lap (remember those?) upholstered in Pendleton’s Sugar Skulls wool.

Danimal and Lola Jane, Pendleton wool blanket, photography Skyler Hughes

It was customized by Doug from the Auto Clinic in Bend, who made the headliner from the material and installed it.

Danimal and Lola Jane, Pendleton wool blanket, photography Skyler Hughes

Erik Elbek – AKA Grind King –  completed the back package tray of the headliner to tie it all together, and gave the ’63 Fairlane the finishing shine for the photo shoot with Skyler Hughes of Skyler Hughes Photography.

Danimal and Lola Jane, Pendleton wool blanket, photography Skyler Hughes

The remaining fabric went to Lola Jane for her own custom Sugar Skulls blanket, perfect for a nice lie-down after a drink of her favorite treat. The blanket was sewn for her by Maddy Wasserman.

Danimal and Lola Jane, Pendleton wool blanket, photography Skyler HughesIt’s a dog’s life, yes? Be sure to visit the Dawg Grog website to learn more. You can find a distributor near you, and even learn how your dog can become a Spokes-Dawg for the brand. And follow them on Instagram, while you’re at it.

Thanks to Danimal for letting us feature him, his car, his company and Lola Jane. All photos by Skyler Hughes of Skyler Hughes Photography, copyright 2014. Photos used with permission.

Chronicles of Pendleton: Pendleton and Chronicle Notebooks

There’s nothing quite as inspiring as a blank notebook. We might be doing away with cursive handwriting and sending email rather than letters, but we still love a blank book full of empty pages that are waiting for our own words.

The advantage of a notebook lies in its portability. It weighs less than a laptop, and is even thinner than a tablet. You don’t have to power it on, wait for a signal or connection or three bars or whatever else to make it work. It’s ready to go, and though it might run out of pages, it will never run out of power. You can refer to it without plugging it in. And you can make sketches quite easily.

All you need is something to write with.

Inspiration usually requires fuel. Sometimes that’s travel, sometimes it’s solitude. Very often, inspiration comes in the form of coffee, whether hot:

Or iced:

When you’re ready to record your deepest thoughts, your secret dreams or just some recipes and grocery lists, you can get your Pendleton notebooks here. The covers are based on our wool blankets, combining National Park Blanket stripes with Native American-inspired geometric patterns.  The covers are sturdy, the books are stitched, and the pages are ruled. Just add a pen, and you’re ready to go.

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Happy inspiration, from Pendleton Woolen Mills.

 

Pendleton Woolen Mills Receives the Port of Portland’s 2014 Compass Award

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When we opened our store at the Portland International Airport, we partnered with the Port of Portland, which oversees our city’s commerce by river, rail, road and plane. The airport location has given us a wonderful opportunity to share our very-Oregon brand with the rest of the country as it passes through PDX (which is what we call our airport, for you out-of-towners). The Port recognized our association with the Port of Portland 2014 Compass Award at the recent “Tradition of Trade” annual luncheon.

 

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The award recognizes the personal efforts of our company’s president, Mort Bishop, as well as Pendleton’s corporate support and involvement. Said Port Commission Vice President Paul Rosenbaum, “Like the points of a compass, their business partnership and confidence in local operations have helped us navigate and achieve key Port goals such as job creation and environmental stewardship.”

During the award presentation, Mr. Rosenbaum cited Pendleton as one of Oregon’s heritage enterprises, and applauded our focus on building positive relationships with Oregon’s tribal community—the original founders of trade in the Northwest. “Mort and his family have led the Pendleton enterprise for six generations,” said Mr. Rosenbaum. “Pendleton’s rich American heritage and deep roots in the Pacific Northwest is a source of pride for all Oregonians.”

Company president Mort Bishop accepted the Compass Award on behalf of Pendleton Woolen Mills. In his words, “100 years ago, there were over 1,000 woolen mills in this country. Today we operate two of only a handful that survive – Washougal and Pendleton. Our facilities are state of the art, providing American jobs, utilizing sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices, employing world class technology. Pendleton uses some of the world’s finest wool fleeces from right here in Oregon…from generations of the same ranch families for over 100 years.  When you buy a Pendleton, you are literally and metaphorically buying the fabric of Oregon.”

More than 500 business leaders, elected officials and community stakeholders attended this year’s Gateway to the Globe luncheon. It was quite an event, and the Compass Award is quite an honor.

For Your Easter Bunnies.

Well, we have no rabbits. No rabbits, no hares, not a bunny in sight. But we do have some newly-arrived stuffed friends who could hop into anyone’s heart.

First, there’s Hamilton Bear, made of our own non-toxic and washable wool. He’s a little guy with a lot of personality.

 

HamiltonBear

 

Then, there’s Yuji Bear in two colors; a wild and wooly fellow if there ever were one.

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They join the usual cast of characters that includes Chauncey Bear and Franklin Horse at pendleton-usa.com. And they’d love to be in a basket!

 

Have a wonderful holiday.

Surf Pendleton – Win a Custom Board by Blackfern!

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WIN THE ULTIMATE RIDE - A CUSTOM PENDLETON SURFBOARD

To celebrate its surfing roots and the new collection, Pendleton is hosting the Pin-to-Win Surf Pendleton Contest March 17 – April 28, 2014. Grand Prize is a custom Pendleton Surfboard in the original surf plaid worth $1200; Second Prize is a $400 Pendleton gift card; and Third Prize is a $200 gift card. Contestants enter online using their Pinterest account information.

BLACKFERN SURFBOARDS,

A ONE-OF-A-KIND COMPANY

Blackfern Surfboards is a backyard board company based in Portland, Oregon. Started in 2008, it possesses a distinctly Oregon ocean-meets-the-forest aesthetic. The company creates one-of-a-kind custom surfboards designed in collaboration with each customer. Each board is handmade in Portland by local wave-obsessed surfers.

SURF VISIONARY MIKE HALL

Waves off the rugged Oregon coast are like no others on earth. After much frustration with boards that were not suited to Oregon’s choppy waves, veteran surfer Mike Hall decided to shape his own board – and the rest, as they say, is history. With much trial and error, he found a set of design characteristics that perform well in Oregon’s unique waters. After designing boards for a few friends, Mike devised the Blackfern concept – a grassroots effort to put locally made custom boards into the hands of those who venture into the Pacific Northwest surf.

THE MAKING OF A PENDLETON BOARD

In tribute to a time when Pendleton was a vibrant force in the California surf culture, a 1960s-era single-fin model was chosen. This timeless retro board embodies the lifestyle of the era – clean, simple and stylish. From start to finish, each is a handmade work of art – shaped, painted, glassed, sanded and glossed by hand in Blackfern’s fabrication studio in Portland.

  • The first step is to trace the outline of the board onto a blank, which is a rough-cut piece of foam.
  • Next the bottom is crafted, then the top is shaped and foiled.
  • Then the rails are formed and the final shape begins to emerge.
  • The final steps of the shaping process are the installation of the slider single-fin box and a sanding to a buttery smooth finish. At this point, Mike writes the customer’s name, board dimensions, and “Pendleton Surf Limited Edition” on the board.
  • Next the Pendleton plaid or stripe pattern is applied.
  • Then comes glassing – a four-step process that consists of two laminations and two hotcoats.
  • Finally, a gloss coat is applied and buffed to a candy-like luster.

Tools and hands have passed over every square inch of the board dozens of times.

MAKING THE PENDLETON
LIMITED EDITION SURFBOARD

By Michael Hall, Blackfern Surfboards

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® and Easy-Care Blankets: It’s Easy Being Green

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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.

Our washable bed blankets are offered in ten plaids, eight of which are shown below.

Eight Plaids

You can see all of them here. Love those blanket-stitched edges. These are washable, and get softer with each trip through the spin cycle.

The solid blankets (18 colors) and matching shams coordinate back to the bed blanket plaids so they can be used together, or used alone for a clean, contemporary look. Here are eight of the shades:

solids

Wool is a perfect choice for top-of-bed. There is a subtlety to the texture, nothing shiny or artificial about it, and the color will remain true forever. You can add accent interest with pillows  or…

…maybe the fringed Eco-Wise Wool Lambswool Throw.

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This is actually a lambswool/merino blend, and if you know your wools, you’ll appreciate what merino does for the hand. It is soft.  The plaids coordinate back to both the plaid and solid bed blankets, or stand on their own in any room of your home.

There are accent pillows, fabric by-the-yard, window panels and more available in Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool®. Give us a visit  and see all our colorful ways to be green.

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.

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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.

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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 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.

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