Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

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The Bridge

September saw the opening of Portland’s Tilikum Crossing, the newest of Portland’s bridges. This one is special for a few reaasons. First, it’s a pedestrian/transit bridge that is only open to pedestrians, the MAX light rail line, buses, bicycles and emergency vehicles. Second, it is named in honor of the people who inhabited this area long before the Jacksons, Hawthornes and Morrisons. Tilikum is a Chinook jargon word that means “people, tribe or family.” It was chosen to honor the Multnomah, Cascade, Clackamas, and other Chinookan peoples who have been here as long as 14,000 years ago.

The artist

The name was chosen through an initial round of popular vote, with the final name being chosen by a Trimet committee. The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde were part of the bridge’s dedication, and donated artwork by Chinook artist Greg A. Robinson. The three pieces are collectively titled, “We Have Always Lived Here.”

Two basalt pillars stand at the east and west ends of the bridge. The bronze medallion, five feet in diameter, hangs at the eastern side of the bridge, facing north.  According to the tribe. “The basalt carvings depict Tayi, or headmen, with their people, and the medallion shows Morning Star and her children in the center, which is a reference to the heavens, and Coyote and the first humans on the outer ring, referencing the Earth.”

The blanket

As part of the opening ceremony for the bridge, The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde commissioned a limited edition blanket from Pendleton Woolen Mills, incorporating the stunning artwork by Mr. Robinson.

Tilikum-Crossing_final-design for blanket

Each blanket bore this special patch.

Patch for the Tilikum Crossing bridge

As we understand it, most of the commemorative blankets were given as gifts, and a small amount were sold on Tilikum Crossing’s opening day. We are so honored to have been asked to participate in this event.  Below, enjoy some shots from the bridge’s dedication, including those of the artist being wrapped in another Grand Ronde blanket, and some beautiful closeups of his work. Photos courtesy of Trimet.

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Pendleton and the College Fund -Blankets with a Cause

Working together for an important cause

Pendleton has been supporting the goals of the American Indian College Fund for years. To understand why this makes us so proud, please watch this video.

If this is a cause you can get behind, you might want to consider our AICF blankets for 2015 as a way to contribute. Both blankets were designed by Larry Ahvakana (Nupiaq/Eskimo) from Barrow and Point Hope, Alaska.

Larry Ahvakana

Born in Fairbanks, Larry was raised in Point Barrow until the age of six, when his family moved to Anchorage. He left behind his grandparents, his native tongue, and many of the traditional cultural influences that had shaped his childhood. But these have re-emerged through his art, becoming the basis for his inspired work.

Larry has been a working artist since 1972. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also studied at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. He works in a variety of media, including stone, glass, bone, metal and wood. His masks bring tradition to life with mythic imagery in old-growth wood.

Larry is also widely recognized as an educator. He has instructed at the Institute of American Indian Art. He headed the Sculpture Studio at the Visual Arts Center in Anchorage, Alaska, and founded a teaching studio for glass blowing in Barrow, Alaska. His works are included in a large number of major museums, corporate collections, private art collections and as public art commissions.

Thunderbird and Whale child's blanket by Pendleton

Thunderbird and Whale Crib Blanket

The image on this baby blanket is inspired by the artwork of Larry Ahvakana and the Iñupiat legend of the Great Spirit Eagle. Legend states that there once was a massive thunderbird so large and powerful that it could hunt and carry a whale—the main source of sustenance for the Iñupiat. To honor the whale, the Iñupiat created the Messenger Feast. The ceremonial dancing and feasting prepares the community for the coming year and ensures the success of future generations. This blanket is a collaboration between Pendleton Woolen Mills and the American Indian College Fund to honor and reawaken a vital part of Native history. A portion of the proceeds will help provide scholarships for students attending tribal colleges.This blanket is a collaboration between Pendleton Woolen Mills and the American Indian College Fund.

The Return of the Sun blanket for the College Fund, by Pendleton

The Return of the Sun Blanket

The traditions and activities of the Iñupiat, today, as in the past, revolve around the changing of the seasons. This blanket, inspired by the artwork of Larry Ahvakana, celebrates the arrival of the sun back to the Arctic and the start of hunting season. The Iñupiat mark this special time with the Messenger Feast—a ceremony where the spirits of the past season’s harvest are ushered back into the spirit world. Today, the celebration fosters cultural pride and the regeneration of traditional values. This blanket is a collaboration between Pendleton Woolen Mills and the American Indian College Fund to honor and reawaken a vital part of Native history.

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Happy 4th of July from Pendleton Woolen Mills

Time to Celebrate!

Are you gearing up to celebrate America’s birthday this weekend? We hope you’re celebrating the good old-fashioned way, with cookouts, picnics, sparklers and family fun. We will celebrate with two very patriotic blankets; Dawn’s Early Light and Brave Star.

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Dawn’s Early Light

“O say can you see by the dawn’s early light.” These words were penned on the back of an envelope in 1814 by young lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key. Key was held captive on a Royal Navy ship as British ships in Chesapeake Bay bombarded Fort McHenry throughout the night. When dawn broke, the fort was still standing, the American flag still waving. It was a turning point in the war of 1812, and the birth of our national anthem, the “Star Spangled Banner.” This blanket, woven in our American mills, commemorates the Bicentennial of that momentous morning in U.S. history. Fifteen red and white stripes and stars represent those on the flag at that time. Each star is shaped like an aerial view of the fort, which was built in the shape of a five-pointed star. Striations and imprecise images give the design a vintage Americana look.

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Brave Star

This contemporary interpretation of the American flag celebrates 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.

Beautiful blankets for our beautiful country.

Now go out and watch some fireworks.

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Happy Earth Day with Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool®: Sustainable, Beautiful, Responsible

It’s not easy being green…

…but it’s worth it.

A bed covered with multiple layers of Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool washable bed blankets.

There are many, many products out there claiming to be green. From the sheep to the shelf, Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® passes strict standards of sustainability and stewardship, verified and certified. This means that if you were to take a Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® blanket and bury it, it would leave the earth better, not worse, for the addition. That’s a nice way to explain it, but we make blankets for you to use, not to bury. Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® products are designed to be delightful to touch, easy to care for and beautifully colored. And they are woven in the USA of 100% virgin wool.

Spring 2015

Let’s start with our new Spring throws. These are all about the fun. These fringed throws come with a leather carrier, making this the perfect take-along blanket for your trips, picnics, hikes or sporting events. Best of all, they’re washable, so if your fun involves spills, sloshes, crumbs or mud, you’re covered. Just put it in the washing machine, even though it’s 100% virgin wool. We have two colorations of our classic Surf Plaid, and our new WoolDenim which looks like ring-spun denim, front and back.

Fringed Throws w Leather Carrier

Also new for Spring, we have washable fringed throws in the beautiful ombre plaids you think of when you think of Pendleton.

Ombre Throws

Be sure to check out the classic colors, too. Blocks, checks, plaids; these are just begging to be thrown over the arm of your sofa.

Bed Blankets

Our throws coordinate coordinate back to our Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® bed blankets. Here are the solids and heathers.

All washable bed blankets for 2015

Wool is a perfect choice for top-of-bed. There is a subtlety to the texture, nothing shiny or artificial about it, and the colors will remain true forever. Check out the bed blankets in stripes and plaids. There are accent pillows, fabric by-the-yard, window panels and more available in Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool®.  Go warm with with traditional plaids, rustic with stripes and heathers, or keep it contemporary with checks. We have you and your bed totally covered. 

Blake Lively agrees!

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So give us a  visit  and see all our colorful ways to be green.

Mill Tribute Blankets by Pendleton: Oregon City Woolen Mills

A Tribute to our Competitors of Long Ago

In 2010, Pendleton Woolen Mills introduced our Tribute Series, paying homage to the American mills that thrived during the Golden Age of Trade blankets.

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In the early part of the 20th century, Pendleton Woolen Mills was one of five major mills weaving Trade blankets. Oregon City Woolen Mills was perhaps our greatest competitor. Known for explosive neon colors and unique images, their banded robes are among some of the most dramatic designs produced during the heyday of the Trade blanket.

The mill sat at the base of the Oregon City Falls (the “Niagra of the West”) on the Willamette River, just down the water from Portland. This busy location held the woolen mill, a grist mill, printing presses, and other industries drawn to the site by easy river access and the power of the Falls.

Oregon City Woolen Mill, vintage postcard

The mill was the largest in the West, employing hundreds of millworkers over 30 years of operation. It had a riotous history of workforce unrest, racial strife and community turmoil. It even burned to the ground once.

Perhaps the mill’s colorful history influenced its products, as this mill’s blankets are known for their dazzling color combinations and dizzying geometric patterns. We have recreated six blankets in our Mill Tribute series for Oregon City Woolen Mills. Currently available is Oregon City Woolen Mills Tribute #6, a swirling banded robe with arrowheads in Americana colors. This pattern debuted in 1914.

Oregon City Blankets

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Oregon City Woolen Mills Tribute #5 is also available. This framed robe illustrates the prevailing vision of the American West in the early part of the last century: roping, wrangling, bronc busting and pony racing, along with a peaceful Indian village. The original was a children’s blanket.

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Retired blankets in the series include Oregon City #4, a coral-red and turquoise six element robe. This popular design was woven in color combinations that ranged from the garish to the sublime throughout the 1920s and 30s. We think our choice is sublime.

Oregon_City_4

Oregon City #3 is a banded pictorial robe with eye-dazzling borders and a totem pole flanked by a pair of ravens. This pattern was woven for the Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition of 1909, and rewoven in many different color combinations until the 1930s.

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Oregon City #2 is a uniquely colored six element robe in teal and purple. Known as the Dragonfly pattern, our recreation of this robe was a best-seller.

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Oregon City #1 is another pictorial robe known as the Happy Hunting Ground. A hunter overlooks a bounty of fish, fowl and animals, with some amphibians, dragonflies, bees, stars and reptiles thrown in for good measure. The tools of the hunt also decorate the blanket.

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Oregon City Woolen Mills went out of business in 1932 during the Great Depression. Today, plans are afoot to restore its original site, with the Willamette Falls Legacy Project working to restore industry and public access to this beautiful area.

And if you’re wondering, Pendleton plans another Oregon City Woolen Mills tribute blanket in 2016.

Pendleton tribute series label for Oregon City Woolen Mill

On Route 66 with Pendleton and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Get your kicks…

You’ve probably bought yours, and you probably didn’t buy it to look at the blankets, but we are pleased as can be to be featured in the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Here’s a fun little move that gives you a look behind the scenes: Behind the Tanlines

Seriously, the movie fun to watch. It captures the reactions of locals as a bunch of bikini-clad beauties breezE into the small towns along Route 66. Between their sessions of stretching, pouting and posing, the models are a sweet and somewhat goofy bunch of women. Here’s a fetching still of Ariel Meredith to get you interested.

Brave Star

Ariel Meredith

 

Yes, the photos were taken along Route 66, so our Americana design, Brave Star, was a perfect choice.

Brave Star blanket

 

Sara Sampaio posed with the blanket, as well, and in the magazine you can see it with Ashley Smith.

Sarah Sampaio

 

Serape

Our Serape makes an appearance in the foothills with the natural beauty of Jessica Gomes.

Jessica Gomes

 

Pink serape blanket

Chimayo

Our Chimayo throw blends perfectly with the landscape, letting Nina Agdal’s beauty shine. It’s shown in Agave Stripe, and our photo below is the Coral version.

Nina Agdahl

 

 

Pendleton Chimayo THrow in COral

 

Bright River

And of course, there’s the stunning Robyn Lawley with the Bright River blanket.

Robyn Lawley

 

Bright River blanket by Pendleton

We also sent along a Route 66 blanket, but that doesn’t seem to have made its way in.

The magazine has other shots, equally as beautiful but risque enough that we are going to let you pick it up on your own to see them. Certainly these photos are gorgeous enough!

Blanket photos by Pendleton Woolen Mills, all model photos used with permission from Sports Illustrated, Incorporated. 

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Cover shoot: Taylor Swift, Karlie Kloss and Pendleton

On the Road

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We were super excited to see these shots from the March cover shoot for VOGUE, featuring Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss.

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Our Blanket!

Yes, that’s our Chief Joseph blanket peeking around inside that beautiful Airstream trailer.

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We love the combination of two traditional American firms, Airstream and Pendleton, making a backdrop for two young American style icons. The BoHo vibe is adorable, and their friendship is palpable.

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All photos courtesy VOGUE.com (source). Look for this issue soon on newsstands.

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#caturday on Instagram

Welcome to Caturday, courtesy of the @pendletonwm Instagram.

When we put this post together, we realized that four of the shots are of the same kitty! #Skogkatt is photogenic, as seen here on one of the special blankets we’ve done for the Ace Hotel.

Here’s Skogkatt again, looking very mid-century.

Another Chief Joseph blanket, another tri-color. This is very nap-inspiring, yes?

#Skogkatt returns, having taken over the crafting basket. You can learn about our fabrics and other craft supplies at our Woolen Mill Store.

That’s all we have for #caturday. We would like to point out that the #pendledogs are winning, on Instagram. We thought cats ruled the internet?

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More Wool Fun Facts for January

PlaidSheep

 

More fun facts about wool from another one of our old Education & Testing Department pieces:

Wool History:

Wool has been an integral part of human life and culture. One of its nicknames is the fiber of civilization.

The sheep industry began in central Asia over 10,000 years ago.

Wool-spinning began in 3500 BC. The first sheep were black; white sheep were a genetic exception that became highly prized because they produce dyeable fiber. Today, black sheep are the genetic exception.

In biblical times, wool was used to collect water; a fleece was left out overnight in the desert to draw dew, to be wrung out the next morning.

Wool fiber has overlapping scales. When heat, moisture and pressure are applied, the scales interlock into an irreversible tangle, as you may have discovered if you ever accidentally washed and dried your favorite wool sweater. This is called “felting.”

Wool was probably first used in felted form as lining for helmets and armor, padding for sandals, cushions for riding horses and camels, and as durable, portable housing for nomadic peoples.

For Asian nomads, wool was so important that in the fourth century, the Chinese called their territory “the land of felt.”

Today, felt is used in felt-tip pens, industrial applications, garments and heavy-duty wool blankets.

Two sheep stand in a field, looking at the camera.

The Politics of Wool:

Spain recognized the commercial value of wool, making it a capital offense to export merino sheep.

England’s first great industry was wool. In the Middle Ages, it was the natrion’s largest export resource, with every European country relying on England for wool.

Germany eventually broke England’s hold on the wool market in 1765, when a Spanish king sent 92 rams and 128 ewes to Germany. By the turn of that century, Germany was flooding England’s wool market.

The Medici family of Florence, Italy built their wealth on the wool trade. Their banking industry allowed them the financial ease to offer patronage to artists like Dante, da Vinci and Michelangelo.

Australia’s economy is based on wool and sheep. The first sheep arrived in Australia in 1788 on an English ship full of convicts.

The American Revolution was in part ignited by a stiff tariff imposed to restrict American wool trade to England.

a Shetland sheep

Wool Language:

“Dyed in the wool” means genuine and permanent.

To “fleece him” means to swindle him.

To “pull the wool over his eyes” is to fool him.

“Shoddy” is also a wool reference. The term meant re-used wool in Civil War times, and became associated with inferior workmanship.

A “spinster” was an unmarried woman who earned her keep by spinning wool.

A “wolf in sheep’s clothing” is a predator disguised with gentleness.

A “bellwether” is the lead sheep in a flock, and is used to note a change or new direction.

 

More fun facts about the properties of wool will be coming your way this month, because January is a wonderful month for staying warm, and wool does that so well.