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Posts from the ‘Pendleton blankets’ Category

New Blankets for 2016

The new blanket introductions are always a a highlight here at Pendleton. We work on these designs for a full year before we ever see a sample roll off the loom. Something magical happens when flat, fine-edged designs are woven in wool. The patterns we thought we knew are that much more breathtaking when translated into textile form. It is always exciting and a little mysterious.

If you’ve pored over out website or catalog, then come into a store to see a blanket in person, you know exactly what we’re talking about. There is a depth and beauty to a blanket that’s truly breathtaking. Well, wait no more! The new blankets are up at pendleton-usa.com. We have some beautiful new room settings to inspire you. The blanket names are linked, you can click for more information at our website.

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Do you like warm colors and sinuous lines? Topeka Plains might be your pattern.

Topeka Plains

The Great Plains cover over 500,000 square miles of North America. Long ago, this vast expanse of steppe and grassland was covered by tall grasses that supported the Plains Bison. The Bison in turn supported the way of life of nomadic tribes that hunted and farmed the prairies, including Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Pawnee, Crow, Comanche, Arapaho and many more. Topeka Plains pays tribute to the waving grasslands of the Great Plains with a harmonious pattern of sinuous lines. The balance of this banded design reflects the balance of life among the Nations of the Great Plains.

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Cactus Trail is another colorful pattern, with primaries set off by a background of Oxford grey. It’s a tribute to the Cactus to Clouds Trail in California.

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Jagged white peaks rise beside rows of Saltillo diamonds representing desert flora–Cholla and Barrel cactus, Banana Leaf yucca, Ribbonwood trees, Pinyon pines, Manzanita and scrub oak. Steps and hooks symbolize a path travelled partly in darkness.  This is the Cactus to Clouds Trail, an 18-mile hike rising 10,300 feet from Palm Springs, California, to San Jacinto Peak. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, it is privately maintained by local hikers who install markers and maintain water caches along a challenging trail with the greatest elevation increase in the United States.

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Infinite Steps (on the wall) is part of our new contemporary collection.

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Through careful arrangement of color and shape, Infinite Steps creates a three-dimensional staircase on a two-dimensional plane.  This is an optical illusion–an illustration that tricks the brain into seeing what is not actually there. The traditional craft of quilting uses many optical illusions in its patterns, such as Carpenter’s Color Wheel, Tumbling Blocks, Pinwheels and variations of the Log Cabin pattern. Infinite Steps pays tribute to the precision and planning quilters use when creating these dazzling effects.

 

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Boro Patchwork is also part of the contemporary collection.

Boro Patchwork

Boro patchwork reflects the value of ‘mottainai’ or ‘too good to waste.’ The word Boro, meaning ‘rags,’ describes items of clothing and bedding that have been patched and repaired many times. Boro clothing was worn by peasants, merchants and artisans in Japan from the Edo period through the early Showa period. Patches are often worked in hishizashi, personal stitching patterns developed by menders. Some Boro items are sewn through generations. The beautiful indigo shades of repaired cotton and rough-spun hemp work together in a subtle patchwork that reflects a culture’s devotion to preservation.

That is just a taste of what you will be seeing at pendleton-usa.com . Visit us often to see what’s rolling off the loom at our USA mills!

New blankets

#TBT to the World’s Longest Wool Blanket

Did you know that Pendleton holds a World Record? Well, now you know! It’s for a blanket, of course.

IMG_2233We think it’s fitting that the oldest and largest U.S. blanket manufacturer would make the world’s longest seamless blanket.

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Here are the stats:

Blanket length:
432 feet of seamlessly woven fabric equal to approximately 1 ½ football fields in length. The blanket measured 331,800 sq inches, 2,303 sq feet (more square footage than the average house in Portland, Oregon). The blanket required the fleece from over 50 sheep to produce.

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Weight:
380 pounds – so heavy, the blanket was rolled onto a giant spool and transported via forklift.

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Woven:
This is a Northwest effort; the yarn for the blanket was dyed, carded and spun at Pendleton’s Washougal, Washington mill. The 82% pure virgin wool/18% cotton blanket was woven in our Pendleton, Oregon mill. The blanket was washed, felted and bound in Pendleton’s Washougal, WA mill. Pendleton’s jacquard looms, which were used to weave The Largest/Longest Seamless Blanket required 778 minutes to weave. Typically the looms weave one blanket in 12 minutes.

 

Pattern:
The pattern is an archival design (since retired) that was part of our Heritage line. This is one of Pendleton’s oldest designs, dating back to the early 1900s.

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It came to be called the Geronimo  pattern after a photo of Chief Geronimo, who was photographed wrapped in a blanket in this pattern.

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Chief Geronimo was of the Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua Apache tribe. His bravery and heroism are legendary. Photo courtesy Barry Friedman

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An extremely rare photo of Chief Geronimo and his followers waiting for battle. The Chief stands, unarmed, in front of the mounted warrior. Photo by C. S. Fly, March 1886

The World’s Longest Blanket visited the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon, and the Home & Garden Show. It was eventually cut and sewn into specially labeled throws with black felt binding. The proceeds of this sale went to charity. One of the throws is currently hanging in our Heritage hallway, if you’re ever in the neighborhood and would like to see one.

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And that’s the story of our world record!

Greg Hatten’s WoodenBoat Adventures: Olympic National Park

rangeGreg Hatten’s travels took him to Olympic National Park earlier this year to paddle Lake Quinault and fish the Quinault River (shown from above).

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Olympic is one of our rainiest National Parks, and Greg visited during one of the rainiest winters on record. This is Washington State we are talking about. In our upper left corner of America, it takes a lot of precipitation to make us even notice it’s been extra-rainy. And Greg and his wooden boat were headed for the Olympic Penninsula, which is actually…a rain forest.

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The river was rough and full of strainers, and the fish were hiding in the unsettled waters. This wasn’t an easy trek, folks.  You can read about it here, and see more photos.

We were taken with this photo of a magnificent herd of elk Greg encountered on his way in (his boat is on a trailer in this shot, if you’re wondering).

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And he even checked into the beautiful Lake Quinalt Lodge for the night.

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Lodge-viewview from the lodge – what a place to get married!

Being Greg, instead of sleeping here…

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…Greg opted to sleep here.

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You really want to read about this journey over at Greg’s blog. It was a mighty adventure, with some scary moments and fun rewards. And if you’d like to sleep like Greg, you have your choice of our Harding blanket in Thyme, new this year:

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Or Greg’s trusty Badlands bedroll, which has seen him through many nights of camping:

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You can shop for Pendleton’s Parks blankets and more at http://www.pendleton-usa.com.

But this?

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You have to go out there and get it on your own.

 

Greg’s Olympic Adventure

Greg’s WoodenBoat Adventures Blog

 

 

Mother/Daughter Goals: Wrapped Up in Pendleton

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Tara and her daughter, Mya, posted some photos on Facebook recently, and did they ever catch our attention. So we asked if we could share.

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These women are radiantly beautiful!

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Tara and Mya say that a photo shoot wrapped in Pendleton blankets was part of their”Mother/Daughter Goals.” Thank you, ladies!

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Photo credit: Dave Laus
Skin care products: www.niawen.com
Makeup artists: Two Chicks & Some Lipstick

Shop the blankets:
Heritage Turtle
Beaded Bandolier

Morning in Acadia National Park

Bring your Pendleton blanket and find a spot while it’s still dark. Watch the sky turn from black to deep blue as you listen to the calls of waking birds. Hear the rustle of ocean air as it raises waves to lap against the shoreline and skims through the forests of this peaceful paradise. Look to the distance, where the sky meets the Atlantic, and wait for the first rosy rays to brighten the horizon.

This is how you welcome daylight at Acadia National Park.

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Acadia National Park is our easternmost national park. Its 47,000 acres reserve most of Mount Desert Island off the Atlantic Coast. Cadillac Mountain, named for French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, rises on the eastern side of the island. Its granite summit catches the first daylight in the continental United States each New Year’s Day.

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Acadia National Park is part of the area known as the “Dawn land” by its original inhabitants, the Wabaniki people. A confederacy of five First Nations and Native American nations, the Wabaniki includes the Abenaki, Maliseet, Mi’maq, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot people. Ten thousand years before Mount Desert was sighted by Samuel de Champlain, these Algonquian-speaking natives lived in settlements along the Eastern seaboard.

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Acadia’s Atlantic coast is a wonderland of ancient, lichen-covered boulders and rugged shoreline. President Woodrow Wilson established it as Sieur de Monts National Monument on July 8, 1916. On February 26, 1919, it was named Lafayette National Park. The name was changed to Acadia on January 19, 1929, to honor the former French colony of Acadia.

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George W. Dorr is called the “father of Acadia National Park,” but its financial benefactor was definitely John D. Rockefeller, Jr. He paid to develop over 50 miles of gravel carriage trails, with features that include 17 granite bridges and two historic gate lodges that remain today.  Along the paths are many cut granite “coping stones,” which act as rustic guardrails, and are known as “Rockefeller’s teeth.” The Rockefellers helped greatly with the reconstruction of the park after the wildfires of 1947, which destroyed over 10,000 acres.

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Today, as one of the most-visited parks in the country, Acadia welcomes hikers and bicyclists to its trails. Forty different species of mammalian wildlife call Acadia home, including (from the small to the large) red and grey squirrels, chipmunks, white-tailed deer, beaver, porcupine, muskrat, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, black bear and moose. Acadia National Park is aided in preservation efforts by the Friends of Acadia, which has worked to create a private endowment that will maintain the current 44 mile carriage trail system in perpetuity.

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Acadia National Park is waiting to welcome you, and the dawn, every morning. And it’s open now.

Photos by our intrepid #pendle10parks explorers:

Nikolai Karlov – @nikarlov (shots 3, 4, 5 & 6)

David Okoniewski – @oakcanoeski (shots 1 & 2)

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See our Acadia National Park products here: SHOP

Timberline Lodge and a Happy Couple

Here in the midst of a cold and rainy Oregon winter, Oregonians are always looking for joy. We found it in these engagement photos of Sarah and Jeffrey, who were married in 2015.

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The happy couple had their photos taken on Mt. Hood. Fittingly, they are is wrapped in a Pendleton blanket woven for Friends of Timberline. This nonprofit group is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the historic Timberline Lodge (you can read more about the lodge’s fascinating history–and it is fascinating–here).

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We want to say thank-you and congratulations to Sarah and Jeffrey, who were kind enough to share their photos with us. The blanket’s striking monogram was done by a friend of the bride’s mother to commemorate the day of their wedding.

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If you’re interested in the Friends of Timberline blanket, please call the gift shop at 503-272-4436. We are always happy to monogram your blankets through our Woolen Mill Store.

Would you like a blanket to be part of your wedding? Find beautiful ideas here and on our Pinterest Weddings board.

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For you: Dia de los Muertos and Sugar Skulls

Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is celebrated on October 31st and November 1st and 2nd.  In Mexico, celebrants build ofrendas, altars to the deceased, with photos, candles, and the favorite foods of those who have moved on. In Brazil, families visit churches, then visit cemeteries. In Spain, celebrants enjoy festivals and parades throughout certain neighborhoods. Wherever the holiday is observed, the spirits of the departed are welcomed back to this world with specific symbols; calaveras (sugar skulls), masses of stylized flowers, and dressed skeletons.

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The roots of the holiday go back more than 3,000 years ago, to the age of the Aztecs and a ritual that celebrated the goddess Mictecacihuatl.  The skulls and flowers symbolized death and rebirth. In the 15th century, Spanish conquistadores were aghast at a ritual that seemed to mock death. In an attempt to make the ceremony more Christian, the Spaniards moved the event to All Saints’ Day, but the symbology remained, growing more fanciful and varied through the generations.

The central figure of our Day of the Dead blanket represents the colorful wooden skull masks or calacas that celebrants wear as they dance to honor their dead relatives. The wooden skulls, decorated sugar skulls and marigolds are placed at gravesites and altars for the departed. The blanket’s bright colors and festive images of flowers and mariachi musicians capture the spirit of the celebration. This blanket inspired a collaboration with GNU and Barrett Christie, which you can see and read about here: Women Who Shred 

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We have a related pattern called Sugar Skulls based on one of the elements in the Day of the Dead blanket. It’s used in fabric, an array of bags and Diego the bear. Our patterns capture the spirit of joyful welcome as celebrated by people all over the world during Dia de los Muertos.

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A WoodenBoat Adventure: Crater Lake and the Rogue River with Greg Hatten

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Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, and its water is the darkest azure blue I have ever seen anywhere.” So begins Greg’s trip to experience the waterways (but not the lake) of Crater Lake National Park. After you read our post, with its own exclusive photos from Greg’s trip, be sure to read his detailed account (link below).

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Greg’s adventures are on his blog here, and they started with a trip to the headwaters of one of his favorite rivers in the West, The Rogue. Mighty rivers start in high places, and the Rogue is no exception. As Greg explains, “The Rogue River gets its start in Crater Lake National Park.  It explodes out of Boundary Spring, then sprints down the valley in a race with the Umpqua River to reach the Pacific Ocean. I hiked the trail up the river toward the headwaters, where it’s so narrow you can jump from one side to the other.”

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Greg’s trip was nearly a no-go, because he arrived at the launch to discover that a flipped boat hadobstructed the river. But the river took care of the obstruction. “It took the current less than a day to twist the frame and break the back of the metal boat, sending it to the bottom of the river. I couldn’t help but wonder what it would do to my little wooden boat in that spot if I made the slightest mistake.

IMG_0187Here’s a shot of Greg consulting his playbook (yes, he holds it with his feet while he rows). This book holds detailed, color-coded notes about the best way to row the Rogue. One of his notes is, “Never run at less than 1000 CFS.” Of course, this trip was taken at 950 CFS…

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Greg and his mates carried on, witnessing a trainwreck at the Slim Picken’s rapid, where an ‘unflippable’ catamarn wiped out. Below, Greg investigates Slim Pickens in his woodenboat, where the fast river “caused problems for the group in front of us, stranding one raft on the rocks and flipping another upside down, ejecting passengers and gear into the fast moving water.”

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Here’s a short video of Greg threading the needle at Slim Pickens. Not easy!

You can see another video of his run through Mule Creek, complete with sound effects, at Greg’s blog post.

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But it wasn’t all a vicious struggle to make it downriver. Greg camped with our blankets and bedroll, and enjoyed his share of fishing, grilling and good conversation under the stars. After a day on the Rogue River, could there be a better place to lay your head than a Crater Lake National Park Blanket ?

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it looks like Greg had some Pendleton Whisky to keep him warm, too.

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This is your last Greg Hatten WoodenBoat adventure until January, so enjoy the thrills while you can. And start planning your own adventures for 2016, when our National Park Service celebrates a century of managing and preserving America’s Treasures. These are your parks. Go enjoy them!

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Read Greg’s post here: Crater Lake

See Pendleton’s Crater Lake National Park blanket here: Crater Lake Blanket

See Pendleton’s National Park drinkware here: Mugs

See Pendleton’s elbow-patch Trail Shirts here: Trail Shirts

See Pendleton’s National Park bedrolls here: Roll-Up Blankets

See Pendleton’s National Park Towels here: Towels

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Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

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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 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.”

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.

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Each blanket bore this special patch.

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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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Mill Tribute Blankets by Pendleton: The Buell Manufacturing Company of St. Joseph, Missouri

In 2010, Pendleton Woolen Mills introduced our Tribute Series, paying homage to the American mills that thrived during the Golden Age of Native American 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. The Buell Manufacturing Company of St. Joseph, Missouri, incorporated in 1877. St. Joseph was the gateway to a booming Wild West, thanks to homesteading and the Gold Rush. The Buell mill, operated by Norman Buell, his son George, and another partner named John Lemon, was well-run and successful.

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According to the county records of 1904, the Buell Manufacturing employed 175 workers and used more than a million pounds of wool a year. Buell products were sold in every state of the Union (45, to be exact).  Buell products included far more than their Trade blankets. Their colorful designs were only a fraction of the products woven by Buell from 1877 to 1912. Since the Pendleton mill opened in 1909, we were only competitors for three seasons.

buellcoverAccording to our friend Barry Friedman in his book Chasing Rainbows, “The blankets produced by Buell Manufacturing are without question the truest copies of Navajo and Pueblo Indian designs.” The original Buell blanket designs were given tribal names in keeping with America’s romantic view of the west during those years. We’ve included the original names strictly for your information. Please keep in mind that the Buell designs often bore little-to-no resemblance to the weavings of that particular tribe.  Our re-weavings of these blankets are simply named for the original manufacturer, with the number of the blanket in the series.

Buell #6available here ) was originally called the “Choctaw” or the “Spider and Hawk” design.

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Buell #5 available here was called the “Winnebago.” Though Buell has a darker palette than many of the other mills producing blankets back in the day, this blanket is an eye-popper.

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Buell #4 (retired) was called the “Ojibwa.” Dale Chihuly has one of the originals in his incredible collection of Trade blankets. The banded design of diamonds, stripes, stars and that central sawtooth band is just gorgeous.

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Buell #3 (retired) features a rare pictorial element–bands of Thunderbirds. Buell blankets were generally without any type of representational figures. This banded pattern was known as the “Comanche.”

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Buell #2  (retired) is called the “Zuni” pattern in the Buell catalog, but is actually a copy of a Hopi manta according to Barry Friedman (who knows pretty much everything there is to know about Trade blankets).

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Buell #1 (retired) is named “Aztec” in the original Buell catalog. It was offered in at least four different color combinations. An example in this coloration is also part of the fabled Chihuly collection of Native American Trade blankets. This blanket was a bestseller in our first year of the Tribute series.

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Buell blankets are among the most rare and most sought after by collectors today. This mill actually accomplished a major commercial weaving innovation–the incorporation of a third color in a weaving line. This was beyond the capabilities of Pendleton Woolen Mills at the time, so we tip our hat to the Buell Manufacturing Company of St. Joseph, Missouri.

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