All About Shetland Wool

At Pendleton, we are mighty proud of our Shetland wool sweaters for men and women. Here are a few facts about Shetland wool, and why it makes our sweaters so special.

Folded stack of Shetland wool sweaters by Pendleton

photo by Pendleton Woolen Mills

Shetland wool comes from a special breed of Shetland sheep   https://www.shetland-sheep.org/about-shetlands/shetland-wool/  that originated on Scotland’s Shetland Islands. In November 2011, Shetland wool that is still produced in the Shetlands earned a designation of “Native Shetland Wool.”

a Shetland sheep

Photo by Claudiu Pusuc on Unsplash

Like everything else in this day and age, Shetland sheep have migrated. Pendleton’s Shetland wool is from New Zealand, a country known for humane treatment of sheep.

Shetland is spun to be lofty, so you get maximum insulation with minimum weight.

Shetland yarn doesn’t have guard hairs, like many other yarns, meaning it is surprisingly nice next to your skin.

Woman in blue Pendleton sweater stands in front of lake

photo by Pendleton Woolen Mills

Shetland sweaters wear well with little-to-no pilling. If you see a sweater with suede patches at the elbow, it’s probably a well-loved, well-worn Shetland.

Some Shetland yarns are solid colored, and some are heathered. We tend to choose heathers for our sweaters. With their flecks and blended tones, they are so visually interesting.

stack of folded men's Shetland sweaters by Pendleton

photo by Pendleton Woolen Mills

Pendleton has a variety of styles for men and women at our website. You can see them here: Pendleton Shetland Sweaters for Women Pendleton Shetland Sweaters for Men

Whether you’re feeling the Fall chill, or doing a little early holiday shopping, come see what we have to offer.

Man wearing green pendleton Shetland wool sweater stands in front of lake

photo by Pendleton Woolen Mills

 

 

Iconic Pendleton Patterns: Stripes

In our last post, we talked about Shelter Bay, a pattern that combines our camp stripes with the motif from one of our most popular blankets, San Miguel (read the post here: Shelter Bay). Part of that pattern’s beauty lies in its camp striped borders.

blonde man and brunette woman seated in front of a window, wrapped in a pendleton Camp Stripe blanket. Woman is holding a cup of coffee.

photo by Cassy Berry

Pendleton’s camp stripe blankets are popular, and not just for their utilitarian history. Camp stripes bring the spirit of the outdoors to whatever they grace, thanks to colors that reflect Western landscapes: forests, lakes, river gorges, coastal crags, and the rich colors of the high desert. These stripes find their way to home goods and apparel, especially outdoor shirts and warm outerwear.  See them here: Camp Stripes

But what about our other stripes?

Serape Stripes

With their bands of contrasting colors, serape stripes are designed to dazzle.

Pendleton serape stripe blankets hanging on pegs, next to a stack of folded Pendleton serape stripe blankets

 

photo by Pendleton Woolen Mills

Traditional serapes (called sarapes south of the border) are colorful, sturdy blanket shawls that were part of life in the Mexican home. A serape could serve as a tablecloth, bedding, impromptu hammock, or improvised tent. It could be worn as a shawl, or converted to a poncho. Clothing, bedding, shelter: the serape was versatile!

When southern California’s surfers made trips to Baja, Mexico, to ride the waves, they brought home serape blankets and Baja jackets. The serape stripe became part of the “Endless Summer” of American surf culture. Pendleton’s serape stripes are found on shirts, jackets, hoodies, and bold wool blankets that are perfect for the beach, the porch, or the park.

Man standing on beach wearing striped overshirt.

photo by Danielle Visco

In the Southwestern United States, Pendleton serapes are also known as “Goopesala,” or “Good Blankets.” They are often used in the Give-Away Ceremony, performed at honor dances, weddings and many other occasions. Hosts give gifts to their guests, with no expectation of return. “What is given away returns to the giver, in another form of good.”

Archival photo from early 1900s of a Navajo family (father, mother, three young children) riding in a wagon with a Pendleton serape stripe blanket

photo: Pendleton Archives

In this photo from the Pendleton archives, a Pueblo family rides in one of the original wagons like those used by the Babbitt brothers, five shopkeepers who came west in 1886 to make their mark. They founded the CO Bar cattle ranch, in addition to opening a mercantile in Flagstaff, Arizona. In time, their success with commerce equaled 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 peoples. Babbitt’s is still active and thriving—and working with Pendleton.

See our serapes here: Serape Stripe Blankets

Park Stripes

Some are bold, some are busy, but every National Park stripe blanket celebrates America’s Treasures, with a portion of sales supporting the work of the National Park Foundation.

Kyle_Houck_NP_CraterLake_Home (2)

photo by Kyle Houck

Here are a few fun facts about Pendleton National Park blankets:

  • The oldest design, Glacier Park, originally had “points” to give it the feel of an old-time “candy stripe” blanket traded by fur trappers, but the fur trade had ceased long before Pendleton began weaving blankets.
  • Any Pendleton National Park blanket with points was made before 1938. These marks referred to blanket size, and as the blankets grew in length and width, the points became inaccurate.
  • Pendleton has made blankets for 17 different parks. Two blankets, Crater Park and Shasta, are mysteries. They are listed but not pictured in archival sales materials, and there are no surviving examples.
  • Pendleton introduced plaid National Park throws after World War II. There were four different Grand Canyon plaid throws in those days, plus a newer one introduced in 2009.
  • Part of a National Park blanket’s appeal is its striped simplicity, but some older blankets featured mountains, pine trees, flowers—even a stylized Thunderbird.

Photo taken in Glacier National Park of a man and woman in front of a glacier, wrapped in a Pendleton Glacier National Park blanket

Photo by Kristen Irey

Park stripes are not just for blankets anymore. Their bold colors and happy associations make them a natural to wear and use each and every day. Park stripes prove their versatility in farmhouses, industrial spaces, ranch homes, tiny houses, lake cabins, tents, yurts and trailers! Wherever you live, park stripes are right at home.

See them here: Park Blankets

Which stripe is your favorite?

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Shelter Bay – Where it All Comes Together

Bed with Shelter bay Pendleton blanket. Blanket is brown with navy, tan and red stripes, and large tan central cross, with smaller crossed in corners.

One of our more popular 2019 blanket introductions is Shelter Bay (see more information here: Shelter Bay).

Shelter Bay

Shelter Bay sits in the upper corner of the Pacific Northwest, where the North Fork of the Skagit River empties into Washington State’s Puget Sound. This place of teeming waters and temperate weather invites wanderers to experience the great outdoors; camping by the shore, paddling a kayak, sitting by a campfire telling stories that drift up into the starry night sky. An earthtone background lit by luminous directional crosses represents the balanced, harmonious meeting of ocean, bay, land and sky in Shelter Bay.

This blanket is a unique combination of two popular designs. The first is the motif adapted from our San Miguel blanket (click to see it here: San Miguel). We enlarged the cross, and used it on a heathered ground that’s a derived from our popular Yakima Camp Blankets (see them here: Camp blankets). These attractive utilitarian blankets were based on the ombre-striped bedrolls used by cattle hands and shepherds. During the day, they were rolled tightly and fastened to saddles or packs. At night, they were unrolled for sleeping under the stars.

two beds in a log building by a window. Beds are covered with Pendleton Yakima Camp blankets, one green with stripes, one red with stripes.

Our camp blankets were originally woven from spare mill goods, and their heathered beauty was almost accidental, as it was derived from mill waste–yarn leftovers. Now, the blankets are part of the regular mill production schedule, and are woven according to an exacting weaver’s recipe. What’s that? A recipe is a specific combinations of yarns that produces a specific textile. Everything about the yarn, down to the sheep from which it originates, factors into the final result.

Our heathered blankets are popular, and we’ve been using them as inspiration in more than just the camp blanket line. Last year, we debuted the Olympic National Park Blanket in a grey heather with stripes. Like the Camp blankets, this one is the same on both sides.

But as the upper right corner of the photo below shows you, Shelter Bay is a little fancier. It’s woven on a jacquard loom, and the reverse is tan with earth-tone crosses. This gives you two dramatically different looks in one beautiful blanket.

Shelter_Bay_Blanket

Shelter Bay is more than just a beautiful bedding group. We adapted the design for an accessories group. Some of the pieces use the stripe, others use the cross, and some use both. See what’s available at our website: Shelter Bay Accessories

Pendleton bag, scar and hat sitting on a wooden table against a shiplap background.

And if that’s still not enough Shelter Bay for you, check out this beautiful cardigan sweater. It’s a lambswool blend, and has cool forearm patches.

man wearing brown pendleton cardigan standing in front of lake

See it here: Shelter Bay Cardigan

The weather has changed, and you’re ready for wool. That’s a favorite time of year around here, so we want to wish you a happy Fall from Pendleton.

 

Gifts of Honor for Public Servants

Madeline Albright onstage at Portland's Arlene Schnitzer Center for the Performing arts, receiving a Pendleton Brave Star blanket

Pendleton’s Brave Star blanket was presented to Madeleine Albright on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, when Madame Secretary kicked off the Hatfield Lecture Series for the Oregon Historical Society. She spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium in Portland, Oregon.

Pendleton Brave Star wool blanket in red white and blue

BRAVE STAR

This contemporary interpretation of the American flag is a celebration of the patriotism of Native Americans. In 1875 Indian scouts carried messages from fort to fort in the West. Native American soldiers saw action with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Cuba. And soldiers from many tribes battled in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Iraq. Five Native Americans have been awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery “above and beyond the call of duty.” The design marries modern asymmetry and vintage Americana. The unique striations, using pulled out yarns, reflect an era when dyes were made from plants.

See it here: Brave Star Blanket

Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski received “The Few, the Proud” Marine Corps blanket at the Madeleine Albright dinner at Oregon Historical Society from State Senators Betsy Johnson and Elizabeth Steiner Hayward.

Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski receiving a Pendleton Marines blanket at the Oregon Historical Society

This blanket features the official emblem of the United States Marine Corps, woven in a wool blanket to honor the valor and loyalty of the Marines.

Pendleton Marines blanket feaaturing the logo of the USMC, red white and blue

The Few, The Proud

The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor is the official emblem of the United States Marine Corps. Each element signifies the Marine Corps mission and legacy. The anchor reflects the naval tradition of the Marines as part of the Department of the Navy. The globe represents readiness to serve in any part of the world. The bald eagle, symbol of America, holds a ribbon in its beak that reads “Semper Fidelis,” or “Always Faithful,” a reference to the unending valor and loyalty of the Corps. Dyed, woven and hand-finished in America for quality that’s second to none.

See it here: Marines blanket

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Win a Ginew Heritage Coat on Instagram!

Native American man wearing Ginew denim jacket lined with colorful Paendleton wool - jacket open to show liningNatrive American man standing in profile wearing denim GINEW jacket with collar standing to show Pendleton wool lining.

This Ginew Heritage Coat (lined in Pendleton wool) can be yours! We are proud to partner with GINEW, a Native-owned premium denim brand, on a giveaway over at our Instagram.

To quote Ginew’s site:

In designing the Ginew Heritage Coat, we recreated a meaningful garment as it was worn by our grandfathers and great-grandfathers in daily life. By exploring our Anishinaabe and Oneida heritages, we came to appreciate their rich history of work and dedication. When we wrap ourselves in this coat, we wrap ourselves in the ways of our ancestors. The premium, American-made materials of our Heritage Coat are not just wool, cotton and brass; they are oral histories, old photographs, and traditional lore. Coats such as these were more than mere garments: they were work tools, worn in the machine shops, forests, and fields by relatives who dedicated themselves to the hard labor of providing for their families.

This is a 7-day giveaway, and the entry period runs from Thursday, September 26th  2019 at 9:00 AM PST, to Monday, September 30th 2019 at 11:59 PM PST.  The rest of the rules are after the jump.

See our past posts about Ginew here: Pendleton and Ginew

Read more about Ginew here: Ginew Heritage Coat

Find our Instagram here: @pendletonwm on Instagram

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Seven Decades of Women’s Style with Pendleton

We celebrated seventy years of classic Pendleton style for women on September 9, 2019 at our downtown Portland store. A fantastic time was had by all.

interior of Pendleton store with row of mannequins wearing vintage Pendleton women's clothing

This Fall’s women’s line has a capsule of archive-inspired pieces, so we brought out the original garments and some other favorites to show how good design is timeless–and a lot of fun.

People were transfixed by the details.

customer in Pendleton store reading placard describing pendleton vintage clothing

customer in Pendleton store wearing white gloves as she inspects the hem of a Pendleton vintage skirt

The catering was excellent! We want to thank Delilah’s Catering for getting into the spirit of the party and helping us design a menu that reflected the best of decades past. We also hope guests enjoyed the special cocktail developed just for us–“The 49’er”, of course!

refreshments at party in Pendleton store: deviled eggs, petit fours, fruit skewers, paper plates, serving tongs

vintage pendleton ad of woman on bicycle placard with hole in face area where customers can put their own faces

We were delighted to see people wearing vintage Pendleton pieces and caught photos of a few, including this beautiful reversible skirt in tartan red and cream.

woman in red Pendleton skirt studies vintage pendleton clothing at pendleton store party, including 2009 Opening Ceremony coat

This plaid wool western shirt on one of the Lindy Society Dancers is a classic. And we think the navy plaid skirt is Pendleton, too!

Linday Hop dancers dancing on sidewalk in front of pendleton store, one woman, two men

The Portland Lindy Society dancers set the tone of the evening. Their swing music put everyone in the mood to celebrate.

Lindy Hop dancers on sidewalk in front of Pendleton store, dancing, one woman, one man

crowd of people inside Pendleton store at party

customers studying Pendleton vintage clothing at pendleton store

Food, gifts, dancers, cocktails and music. What more could you ask for? Thank you to everyone who joined in the fun and made this a success.

Here’s to seventy more!

round seal that marks celebration of pendleton womenswear's 70th anniversay, includes "celebrating pendleton womenswear 70 years of style - 1949 - 2019

We’ve got New Pendleton Shoes – would you like a pair?

Women's Pendleton shoes in black, white and grey wool, on a grey plaid blanket.

We are SO EXCITED about our new shoe line, and we hope you are, too. You can see some styles here: Pendleton Shoes

Man and woman sitting at table wearing Pendleton shoes/boots.These beautiful styles for men and women are everything you could hope for, for style, comfort, quality and authentic Pendleton wool.

Man's feet wearing Pendleton boots in suede and wool..

To celebrate, we’re having a giveaway on our Instagram. Giveaway starts Thursday 9/12 and runs through Thursday 9/19. Click here to learn more, and to enter starting THURSDAY 9/12/19.

Pendleton Instagram

Rules are after the jump.

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It’s a Pendleton party! Come Join us this Friday!

Fall 2019 marks seven decades of style from Pendleton. And we are having a party!

The event details are here: Seven Decades of Style party

You can also register at Eventbrite: Pendleton party, Seven Decades of Style

08_2019_PAW_70th_Anniversary_V3.inddWe can’t wait to share the archive inspirations for this year – vintage clothes are encouraged, so put on your ’49er, bring a friend and have a blast.

 

See you there!

Pendleton Blanket Coats – From the Archives

We’re looking forward to celebrating 70 Years of Style next week – a party that honors our womenswear line, providing classic American style to women for seven decades! We’ll be celebrating at the Pendleton store Portland, Oregon, on Friday, 9/6/19, with a party. And you’re invited. We’re breaking out some beautiful clothes from the Pendleton archives for the event, along with bites and sips, music, giveaways, prizes and more. Vintage clothes (especially Pendleton) are encouraged and will be rewarded!

The event details are here: Seven Decades of Style party

Here’s one of the most exciting items in the line for Fall 2019 – the coat on the right.

two women wearing Pendleton blanket coats - to left, actress Anita Page, to right, brunette model wearing hat, jeans, Pendleton blanket coat

Yes, that’s right. The coat on the right is a modern revival of one of our most iconic pieces; the Harding blanket coat. Before there was an official women’s sportswear line, Pendleton produced coats sewn from wool fabric in several lengths and styles to meet the needs of snowshoers, skiiers, tobogganers, and movie stars like Anita Page, photographed in a similar coat in the 1930s.

Acxtress Anita Page in a Pendleton blanket coat circa 1920s

The photo is black and white, but it’s safe to say that this coat was sewn in the familiar Harding pattern coloration.

Our archives hold several blanket coats in the Harding pattern on our racks of vintage Pendleton garments, carefully cataloged and hung under white sheets to protect them from dust. Visitors wear white gloves when they handle these treasures, to protect fragile garments from the oils we all have on our hands.

The coat at the front of this “go-back” rack (waiting to be checked back in) is very similar to the coat worn by Anita Page. It’s a well-worn example, with mismatched buttons.archive-coat

Here’s another beautiful Harding pattern coat we call “the airplane coat.” 

This label gave it its name–see the airplane in the lower left of the label?

This car coat was sewn for passengers to wear in open cockpit airplanes. This is also a Harding pattern. The strap-and-button details are charming.

Here’s the rack where both of these coats live in the archives. The “out” cards mark  the spots where other garments have been taken to our design area.

Shoulders

We can’t wait to see what the designers come up with next–and we can’t wait to see you at the party! Come help us celebrate.

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70 Years of Pendleton Womenswear – WOVEN magazine

pendleton_magazine_winter2019-1-cover

We are celebrating seven decades of Pendleton Womenswear with a spectacular issue of WOVEN. Follow along the timeline of style and history, from from poodle skirts to power suits. You’ll love this look back at the styles, ads, and happenings of the day from 1949 through 2019. You’ll also get a sneak peak at the special collection for this fall, with garments drawn from our archives, like this coat on the back cover.

woman wearing hat and wool blanket coat by Pendleton

Read it online here: WOVEN – 70 years of Women’s Fashion