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Posts from the ‘Pendleton blankets’ Category

Taking a Blanket Home: Glacier National Park and the #pendle10park Explorers

It’s our most popular National Park Series blanket; but did you know that it is also our oldest? Yes, the Glacier National Park blanket was originally commissioned by the president of the Great Northern Railway. Like the National Park Service, our blanket is 100 years old this year.


We asked an intrepid photographer to take this blanket home as part of our celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service. She and her crew flew into the park!



Once they landed, they explored and enjoyed this magnificent northern beauty.



Glacier Park is located in Northern Montana, along the Canadian border. In fact, Glacier was joined with Canada’s Waterton Park as the first world’s first International Peace Park in 1932. The Goat Haunt Ranger Station is located at the center of the Peace Park, and is the only place in the country where you may cross the border without going through customs. In fact, you will receive a special mountain goat-shaped stamp in your passport to commemorate your crossing.


Glacier Park scarf                                                                                             Glacier Park water bottle


Glacier covers 1,583 square miles (over a million acres). It is a vast wilderness most famous for its field of 25 named glaciers. Its largest, Blackfoot Glacier, covers almost ¾ of a square mile. Though 25 glaciers is an impressive sight, in 1850 there were an estimated 150 glaciers in the park. So, you need to see them while you can. They are magnificent.


photo credit

Because of its remote location, Glacier has retained most of its flora and fauna, with the exception of the American Plains Bison and the woodland caribou. But at least one four-hooved resident remains and thrives in the park: the mountain goat is Glacier’s official symbol, and adorns the label of the Glacier National Park blanket.


Glacier Park beanie


The Great Northern Railway was instrumental in enlarging public awareness of Glacier as a tourist destination. The Great Northern line crossed the Continental Divide near what is now the southern entrance to the park. The president of the railroad, James J. Hill, foresaw a grand opportunity for passenger travel. Great Northern was responsible for much of the building in the park, a unique mix of European architecture and American materials that became known as “parkitecture.”


During the years of World War II, many of these charming buildings fell into disrepair, and some were lost. Thankfully, more than 350 structures have been saved, and are registered as National Historic Landmarks. The Many Glacier Hotel is one of the largest and most popular of these original structures. Pendleton is excited to be contributing to the hotel’s restoration, and you contribute to our efforts every time you make a purchase from the Pendleton National Park Collection. We will tell you a little more about this in June!

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a fifty-three-mile drive through the park that crosses the Continental Divide at Logan’s Pass. On this ride, known for stunning views, narrow lanes and sheer drop-offs, you can marvel at the glaciers while white-knuckle-gripping your steering wheel. Or, you can go in one of the park’s Jammers, and leave the driving to someone else. The road is a huge draw for the Park, but with an average of almost 140 inches of snow a year, you simply can’t know if a June snowstorm will shut down access. Track the current road status here. And watch a video below!



Glacier park blanket wrap


Glacier Park mug


Irey_Glacier-(50)Our thanks to photographer Kristian Irey, one of our favorite #pendle10parks explorers.

Follow her on Instagram:   @kristianirey

More at her website:

Shop the Glacier Park collection here: SHOP

Home on the Range: Pendleton Buffalo Blankets

American_bison_k5680-1The American Buffalo, or American Plains Bison, is a majestic symbol of the American West. Its story is rife with controversy and tragedy, and its resurgence stands as an important step towards a new beginning.  You can read some of that history here: Buffalo History. You can read about the recovery efforts here: Buffalo recovery

This month, a group of 89 genetically pure buffalo calves will return to the Blackfeet of Montana tribe. These calves are descendants of a small group of buffalo that were husbanded in the Canadian wilderness preserves.

According to

Back in 1872, Chris Peterson of Hungry Horse News reported that a Salish and Kootenai Warrior named Running Coyote was having trouble with his tribe. As an apology, he and several friends rounded up buffalo calves on Blackfeet land and brought them over the Continental Divide to the Salish and Kootenai as a gift. The apology didn’t really work out, and ranchers Charles Allard and Michel Pablo took charge of the bison herd, eventually growing it to 300 animals over the next 25 years.

Near the turn of the century, disputes over grazing rights meant the herd had to be sold. Teddy Roosevelt reportedly wanted the animals, but Congress wouldn’t release the funds. So Pablo sold the buffalo to the Canadian government, which shipped the animals to Elk Island National Park, outside Edmonton, Alberta, where the herd has stayed for over 100 years.

To celebrate the return of these animals to the US, we want to share a look at our Pendleton buffalo blankets. The names link to, where you can find out more information on each of these beautiful blankets.

Big Medicine


The rare white bison occurs only once in every 10 million births. In 1933, a white buffalo was born in the wild on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation and was called “Big Medicine” to reflect his sacred power. Many Native American tribes consider the return of the White Buffalo the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy and the beginning of a new era for the peoples and Mother Earth. Tradition spoke of the coming of a herd of pure White Buffalo. The seven bison on this blanket represent the seven directions: North, South, East, West, Above, Below and Within. Together they symbolize wholeness for mankind and the earth. Prayer pipes signify mankind’s communication with the Creator. In the center of the blanket, within the circle of life, are four hands representing the diverse peoples of the world and a new beginning. Shades of brown and green reflect the natural beauty of Mother Earth.

We have been asked over the years if this blanket contains real white buffalo hair. There was a VERY limited edition of this blanket woven with the hair of a rare white buffalo (and those will have a special patch to identify them) produced in 2010. Sales of the blanket helped benefit a nonprofit that, among other endeavors, funded the buffalo sanctuary where a rare white buffalo lived. You can read about that here: White Buffalo Blanket

Buffalo Roam


The buffalo was revered by many Native American tribes. The meat gave them food. The hides provided robes for warmth, tepee covers for shelter and shields for protection. Horns were crafted into bowls and arrowheads, and fat was rendered for candles and soap. The Buffalo Roam blanket captures the power of that mighty beast of the plains. The design by Native American watercolor artist Joe Toledo puts the sacred buffalo in perspective. Looming large in close-up and appearing smaller in the distance, it was ever present in the lives of the Plains Indians. Mr. Toledo mixes soft rainwater with his colors to reflect images from his Jemez Pueblo culture. His works are exhibited in collections in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Buffalo Wilderness


The Buffalo Wilderness design recalls a peaceful time long, long ago. It was the time when millions of buffalo roamed grassy plains from Oregon to the Great Lakes, from Canada to Mexico. Today our National Parks protect the wilderness, and the remaining buffalo there roam free. One of the largest herds (more than 4,000) of free-ranging wild buffalo lives in and around Yellowstone National Park. It is thought to be the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. You can also see herds in Badlands, Grand Teton, Theodore Roosevelt and Wind Cave National Parks.  A portion of the sales of this blanket are donated to the National Park Foundation to support projects in Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks (details at the link at bottom of page). 

Prairie Rush Hour


The bison, often referred to as the buffalo, is the largest land mammal in North America. A big buffalo can weigh a ton (2,000 pounds!) and stand six feet tall. And they can run as fast as 35 miles an hour. Long ago millions of these mighty buffalo roamed the plains, prairies and river valleys. It was a time when there were no houses on the hills. When countless forests were green and the trees grew tall. When deer grazed by mighty rivers. Today you can see wild buffalo only in our National Parks, where they are protected. You can see one of the largest herds of wild buffalo in the United States in Yellowstone National Park. A portion of the sales of this blanket are donated to the National Park Foundation to support projects in Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks. The Prairie Rush Hour is a jacquard throw that measures 64″ x 64″.  This blanket is also available in crib-size.

Buffalo Creation Story


Buffalo are not typically associated with Navajo culture. So when contemporary Navajo artist Andrew Hobson discovered a story of how the buffalo evolved in Navajo creation stories, he was fascinated. Hobson’s original painting of the Buffalo-Who-Never-Dies of the White Buffalo Tribe inspired this Pendleton blanket. In the tale, Buffalo became angry with Holy Man for having two buffalo women as his wives. Holy Man killed the angry buffalo with magic arrows and wands. But to his dismay, all the buffalos began to die. Then sad, Holy Man brought the buffalo back to life and showed him how to revive all the other buffalo. The central figure shows the angry buffalo fractured in pieces to symbolize his death and journey back to life. Four buffalo tribes are shown inside protective medicine hoops, and the four sacred mountain ranges of the Navajo surround the central buffalo. The artist frames the work in the abstract rainbow symbolizing his personal Yeii, or protective deity. This blanket is part of the Pendleton Legendary Series.



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 We have some beautiful new room settings to inspire you. The blanket names are linked, you can click for more information at our website.


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.



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.

Cactus Trail

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.


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

Infinite Steps

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.



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 . 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.


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.


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


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.


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.



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


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


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.


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).


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.


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).


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


view of the lodge

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

Being Greg, instead of sleeping here…


…Greg opted to sleep here.


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:


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

badlands.jpg  badlands2.jpg


You can shop for Pendleton’s Parks blankets and more at

But this?


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


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.



These women are radiantly beautiful!


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


Photo credit: Dave Laus
Skin care products:
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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)


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.



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).


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.


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.

PWM Day_of_the_Dead_WEB

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 

PWM Diego_Bear_WEB

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.


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


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).


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.”

rogue headwaters

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…


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.”


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.


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 ?


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


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!


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