The Toboggan Coat for Fall 2012; come with us to the Pendleton archives!

Pendleton’s heritage stretches back to the earliest weaving endeavors of the Kay/Bishop family, which officially starts in 1863. This means we have a trove of archival textiles, garments and blankets to draw from.

This year you’ll see some Jazz Age inspiration in our Fall 12 Toboggan Coat.

This coat is based on examples from the 1920s we have hanging on the racks down in the archives. Here’s a peek of what that rack looks like:

The jacket in front, in the Harding pattern, helped inspire the designers  of Fall 2009’s The Portland Collection. The jackets directly behind it in tan were the inspiration for Pendleton Womenswear’s re-creation. Here’s the closest to the modern-day jacket (and you are going to have to forgive the lighting here, the light is not-so-wonderful in the Pendleton Archives):

As you can see, the collar tabs for this one are completely gone, as is whatever tag it had orginally.

There are a few more Toboggans downstairs; the “out” tag in the first photo is holding the spot for a version in black, which you can see in the online archive of the Metropolitan. Here’s the Met’s coat, front and back:

Besides that, there is a version in red , just like the one in a blog post by vintage clothing collector, curator and blogger Lizzy Bramlett, who connected the dots  as soon as she saw the new version on our website. Here’s ours:

This one has a lovely and complete collar and tab detail. The label is very vintage, but not as interesting as the labels pictured below.


Go take a look at Lizzie’s coat, it’s gorgeous. And here’s an archival khaki version from 1929, just for fun.

The labels from these early garments are usually small works of art. Here’s the label from the Smithsonian coat:

And here’s a label from one of our our archival coats:

Both these tags are from the 1920s. Lizzie brings up a good point when she says, “The label … contradicts a bit of often-read information that is even alluded to on the Pendleton website, and that is that the 49er was the first women’s garment made by Pendleton.”

Before we introduced our first line of women’s wool sportswear in 1949, we occasionally made blanket-weight coats in both long and car coat lengths. The most common type of button used can be seen on the neck closure of the toboggan coat in the photo above; bone with a cat-eye groove and carved edge detail. These coats were naturals for winter fun: sledding (that’s why it’s called the Toboggan coat), skiing, skating. They were also a luxurious necessity for riding in the open cockpits of early cars and planes.

Pendleton blanket coats were also popular among celebrities like America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford. Edited: This is actually Anita Page! Thanks to a reader, who advises that Ms. Page can be seen in the same coat here. We do have Ms. Pickford in some other shots with Pendleton.

Here Ms. Page in a longer blanket-weight Pendleton coat.

The Pendleton Toboggan Coat for Fall 2012 is your chance to travel back in time for an authentic piece of Pendleton’s past, made as only we can make it.

And stay tuned to see what we bring back from our next trip to the archives.

5 thoughts on “The Toboggan Coat for Fall 2012; come with us to the Pendleton archives!

  1. I fell in love with my friend Phoebe’s Toboggan coat a few years ago and have been wishing I could find one of my own ever since. It came from a vintage store in San Francisco and has to be one of the best finds of all time!

    I was at PDX last week and saw you were re-making them, so of course – I had to get one! Looking forward to many cold New England winters with it!


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