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Posts tagged ‘Pendleton wool’

PDX Adult Soap Box Derby, ADX Portland, and The Arrow

In early August, we got a shout-out on Twitter from Matt Preston, asking if we’d be interested in helping with the finishing  of his Soap Box Derby car. Matt is part the ADX Portland community, and we will talk more about the derby, but first we want to tell you about ADX. ADX brings together thinkers, makers, students and experts in a shared 14,000 square foot fabrication facility where dreams are made. Once you read about it, you will want to be part of it.


Now, back to the derby. Each year since 1997, Portland has been home to the PDX Adult Soap Box Derby. According to their website, “Now in its 18th year, the PDX Adult Soap Box Derby continues a beloved summertime tradition at Mt. Tabor Parkl—a community event that draws crowds of 7,000 – 10,000 people to watch a colorful and sidesplitting spectacle of 40+ coaster cars powered only by gravity, whimsy, and attitude.”


Matt’s entry was framed but not finished.


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Would we be willing to furnish some of our wool to cover it? Oh you bet.

Matt made a trip to our Woolen Mill Store in Milwaukie, Oregon. With the help of our manager, Mary, he picked his favorite. You might remember this Serape pattern from our second collaboration with Doc Martens.




It wasn’t quite “off to the races” yet. First, Matt went back to ADX for final construction.







We were delighted to see that Matt was inspired by “The Point,” the Harry Nisson 70s classic.


Arrow was a great best friend. Here’s a little clip for those of you who weren’t around back then.



The derby was held on August 15th. We don’t have any images of Matt’s car in action. It was sidelined in a crash! Here’s what Matt had to say about it: The race was a great time and we got a lot of comments on our craft and on the wool covering. Unfortunately, our tire wrecked during the race and so the craft only got one good run in her, but we will be reusing the wool and structure for next year’s race and it will be even better!



So, let’s all think good thoughts for next year. You can read about the festivities here. And if you want to watch “The Point,” you can do that right here.

You won’t regret how you spent this particular hour of your life.

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. 


Getting Creative with the Rig

As most of our blog readers know, we have a wonderful resource for fabric in the Woolen Mill Store in Milwaukie, Oregon. One of our customers went custom on his truck, and we thought you’d like a view. He didn’t want to give us his name, but he was kind enough to give us the photos. This is pretty awesome, yes?








Happy Valentine’s Day. Some Pendleton romance.

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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!

Welcome to the Lobby

This is Shelley, the Visual Director for our stores.  We are lucky to have her creative visual input around the corporate headquarters. While down in the archives, Shelley found some sepia-toned prints of people at work in the Pendleton mills. She brought them up, dusted them off, and let them inspire some beautiful lobby windows with blankets, and Fall 2012 apparel from Womenswear, Menswear and The Portland Collection.

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Hope you enjoyed this tour of Shelley’s creative work. We are thankful to enjoy it every day. From all of us at Pendleton, have a happy Thanksgiving.

A sneak peak at what’s coming from Pendleton Home in just three months!

We recently  held a preview showcase for next year’s Pendleton Home line at the Ace Hotel in NYC.  We hope you like what you see…new colors, throws based on historic weaves from our rich company history, and familiar favorites like the National Park Series blankets.

And of course, more spa towels, because everyone loves the spa towels!

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As promised, the new Pendleton store at Portland International Airport.

Enjoy! We are definitely worth the trip.

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Stitch magazine: creating with fabric + thread, and Pendleton, too!

The latest issue of Stitch has a “Spotlight on Wool,” and Pendleton and our Woolen Mill Store are featured all through it! If you’ve ever had any questions about how to sew with wool, this issue of Stitch has the answers. From the rich history of American wool fabrics, to wool quilting and making your first wool coat, the Spotlight on Wool issue is full of project ideas, information and inspiration.

We’re lucky to have four Portland wool experts featured in this issue:

Read more

Washougal Celebration

At the gateway to the Columbia River is Pendleton’s Washougal Mill. Buildings both old and new are shaded by a silver oak, standing when Lewis & Clark made their journey west. Please enjoy our anniversary celebration, with generations of mill workers, Pendleton’s founding family, and city and tribal dignitaries.


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