The Alpacas are coming!

An alpaca and a lama pose outside the office doors of Wieden+Kennedy.

Alpaca is coming!

We’re excited about alpaca at Pendleton this year, because we have some truly stunning items that use this gorgeous fiber  The sure-footed Alpaca originated in the Andes, where it grazes gently, without damaging root systems. Its fine, lustrous fleece evolved to meet the challenge of high mountains and cold temperatures. The result is a soft, sustainable luxury fiber that’s warmer than lambswool. Durable, lightweight and hypoallergenic alpaca fiber will keep its strength and luster for generations.

 

A men's sweater in knit alpaca, in soft grey/beige stripes.A model stands in profile, wearing a reversible cape of alpaca wool. One side is blue and grey plaid, the other is charcoal grey, with a light grey binding.A reversible alpaca throw. One side is a blue/grey plaid, the other is charcoal grey, with a light grey binding.

Oregon Alpacas

So that got us thinking–this is Oregon, which is basically Alpaca Central. Couldn’t we get up close and personal with one of these adorable camelids?

An alpaca and a lama pose outside a Portland, Oregon coffee bar.

It turns out we can.

Jean-Pierre the Alpaca and Napolean the Alpaca will visit the Pendleton Park Avenue West store on Sunday, December 2 from 1pm to 3pm. These friendly, well-groomed therapy animals love attention. So stop by to say hello to this adorable duo. They will be happy to pose for photos, and we will even have a Pendleton photo booth for you!

Directions to Portland Park Avenue West here: (click on the map to get directions)

 

Oregon Maker Stories: Pendleton Short Films

IMG_1201

Short Films

This fall, we commissioned a series of short films to commemorate some of the talented Oregon makers who were part of our Pendleton Park Avenue West store design. And here they are! We hope you enjoy learning the stories behind the creators. Their skills and artistry are something else.

Episode 1: Esque Studio

Episode 2: LR Design

Episode 3: MAC Sign Painting

Episode 4: A.D. Busch
Episode 6: Andrea Capp Design

Pendleton is open in Eugene, Oregon!

We are excited…

…about our new Pendleton store in Eugene, Oregon.

An artist's rendering the Eugene's Inn at the 5th, with surrounding shops.

Here is our official first customer:

The Eugene Pendleton store's first cutomer poses with a store sales associate in front of the blanket wall.

It’s a beautiful space, filled with a curated selection of apparel for men and women, and of course a wide selection of our gorgeous made-in-the-USA Pendleton wool blankets.

Merchandise on display at the Pendleton store in Eugene, Oregon.

Merchandise on display at the Pendleton store in Eugene, Oregon.

We can’t wait to roll up this garage window when the weather gets brighter.

Merchandise on display at the Pendleton store in Eugene, Oregon.

Come see us at:

248 E 5th Avenue, Suite 14
Eugene, Oregon
541 344 1248

You can follow our store on Facebook here: Pendleton Eugene

Pendleton Woolen Mills store to open in Eugene, Oregon–in May!

Artist rendering of the Inn at the 5th, with surrounding shops. Pendleton Woolen Mills store to open in Eugene in May

Pendleton Woolen Mills plans to open a store next month in the 5th Street Public Market in downtown Eugene. It will be in the space next to the front door of Inn at the 5th, the market’s boutique hotel.

(source)

See you there!

PDX Adult Soap Box Derby, ADX Portland, and The Arrow

In early August, we got a shout-out on Twitter from Matt Preston, asking if we’d be interested in helping with the finishing  of his Soap Box Derby car. Matt is part the ADX Portland community, and we will talk more about the derby, but first we want to tell you about ADX. ADX brings together thinkers, makers, students and experts in a shared 14,000 square foot fabrication facility where dreams are made. Once you read about it, you will want to be part of it.

ADX lab

Now, back to the derby. Each year since 1997, Portland has been home to the PDX Adult Soap Box Derby. According to their website, “Now in its 18th year, the PDX Adult Soap Box Derby continues a beloved summertime tradition at Mt. Tabor Parkl—a community event that draws crowds of 7,000 – 10,000 people to watch a colorful and sidesplitting spectacle of 40+ coaster cars powered only by gravity, whimsy, and attitude.”

2015-Soapbox Poster-Final-Web

Matt’s entry was framed but not finished.

frame of soapbox derby car
frame of soapbox derby car
A cone for the nose of the car, fabricated in copper

Would we be willing to furnish some of our wool to cover it? Oh you bet.

Matt made a trip to our Woolen Mill Store in Milwaukie, Oregon. With the help of our manager, Mary, he picked his favorite. You might remember this Serape pattern from our second collaboration with Doc Martens.

choosing fabric at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store in Milwaukie, Oregon
Pendleton fabrics
Fabric is chosen!

It wasn’t quite “off to the races” yet. First, Matt went back to ADX for final construction.

Construction of the soapbox derby car
Construction of the soapbox derby car
Construction of the soapbox derby car
fitting fabric to the frame
Construction of the soapbox derby car
Construction of the soapbox derby car

We were delighted to see that Matt was inspired by “The Point,” the Harry Nisson 70s classic.

drawing of "Arrow" the dog from The Point

Arrow was a great best friend. Here’s a little clip for those of you who weren’t around back then.

Construction of the soapbox derby car
Arrow's "nose"

The derby was held on August 15th. We don’t have any images of Matt’s car in action. It was sidelined in a crash! Here’s what Matt had to say about it: The race was a great time and we got a lot of comments on our craft and on the wool covering. Unfortunately, our tire wrecked during the race and so the craft only got one good run in her, but we will be reusing the wool and structure for next year’s race and it will be even better!

finished car on the day of the race
"Nilsson's Arrow" painted on the car

So, let’s all think good thoughts for next year.

Pendleton Woolen Mills Receives the Port of Portland’s 2014 Compass Award

compass-award-statue

A new store, a new year

When we opened our store at the Portland International Airport, we partnered with the Port of Portland, which oversees our city’s commerce by river, rail, road and plane. The airport location has given us a wonderful opportunity to share our very-Oregon brand with the rest of the country as it passes through PDX (which is what we call our airport, for you out-of-towners). The Port recognized our association with the Port of Portland 2014 Compass Award at the recent “Tradition of Trade” annual luncheon.

compass-award-certificate

The award recognizes the personal efforts of our company’s president, Mort Bishop, as well as Pendleton’s corporate support and involvement. Said Port Commission Vice President Paul Rosenbaum, “Like the points of a compass, their business partnership and confidence in local operations have helped us navigate and achieve key Port goals such as job creation and environmental stewardship.”

During the award presentation, Mr. Rosenbaum cited Pendleton as one of Oregon’s heritage enterprises, and applauded our focus on building positive relationships with Oregon’s tribal community—the original founders of trade in the Northwest. “Mort and his family have led the Pendleton enterprise for six generations,” said Mr. Rosenbaum. “Pendleton’s rich American heritage and deep roots in the Pacific Northwest is a source of pride for all Oregonians.”

Company president Mort Bishop accepted the Compass Award on behalf of Pendleton Woolen Mills. In his words, “100 years ago, there were over 1,000 woolen mills in this country. Today we operate two of only a handful that survive – Washougal and Pendleton. Our facilities are state of the art, providing American jobs, utilizing sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices, employing world class technology. Pendleton uses some of the world’s finest wool fleeces from right here in Oregon…from generations of the same ranch families for over 100 years.  When you buy a Pendleton, you are literally and metaphorically buying the fabric of Oregon.”

More than 500 business leaders, elected officials and community stakeholders attended this year’s Gateway to the Globe luncheon. It was quite an event, and the Compass Award is quite an honor.

The Pendleton Tartan Party Begins Today!

Tartan Fun

Every year, Pendleton hosts a Tartan Party in each of our stores. These are spirited, fun events. We celebrate with fantastic discounts, free shipping of gifts across the USA, and refreshments. We send home a commemorative plaid ornament with everyone we can.

Some of our customers are modern descendants of a specific clan or sept, and they wear their tartans with pride. And some of our fans just know a great plaid when they see one. Some customers wonder what the difference is between a tartan and a plaid.

Well, all tartans are plaids, but not all plaids are tartans.

Tartans were originally regional designs, worn as “plaids,” pieces of fabric worn slung over the shoulder. Scotland’s warriors wore their plaids with pride. The Dress Act of 1746 was passed to bring the warrior class under control, and their plaids were banned. That’s right, tartans were illegal; inflammatory and subversive.

When the Dress Act was repealed in 1782, tartans were no longer worn as ordinary Highland dress. They were adopted as the official national dress of Scotland. Tartan grew from regional plaid to warrior garb to a badge of kinship.  This may explain the passion of modern tartan researchers and enthusiasts. These patterns are a visual illustration of the bond between personal and political freedom.

Pendleton’s Tartans

We’re not tartan experts at Pendleton, just fabric experts. When we use these designs in blankets, jackets, shirts, skirts or coffee cups, we do it with respect. Our designers refer to rare reference books stored under archival conditions in our design department…and please don’t ask to see them because they will not hold up to visitors, so we have to say no. We also use modern tartans, like Canada’s Maple Leaf, and our own Pendleton Hunting Tartan, registered with the Scottish Tartan Society in 1999.

We do different things with different tartans every year, but Black Watch Tartan is almost always present in our women’s, men’s and home lines.

Blackwatch tartan in a woman's jacket, wool throw, and men's shirt.

This is also known as the Government or 42nd tartan. It was developed to wear by the Black Watch, one of the early Highland Independent Companies. From a distance, the pattern reads as dark as night, so it is the stealth tartan, the ninja of tartans. It’s also one of our perennial bestsellers.

You see tartans all the time, but believe us, there’s more to these plaids than you might know. So put on your plaid and come see us for the Tartan Party, going on December 5th through 8th in Pendleton Retail Stores and Outlets.

Pendleton opening in Milwaukee WI’s Historic Third Ward

A New Flagship Store

grand opening postcard invitation

We’re pleased to announce the opening of our newest store in Milwaukee, Winsconsin’s historic Third Ward.

Exterior of new store

We will throw open the doors (or roll them up, this is a firehouse after all) on Labor Day weekend to welcome visitors into a flagship store that celebrates Pendleton’s history with special fixtures, visuals and merchandise. You’re going to love our mix of women’s casual, men’s heritage, blankets and special brands.

Grand opening details are below. We’ll celebrate our opening with a weaving demonstration by fiber artist Susan Buss. Susan is a fiber artist who has been featured on Martha Stewart. She’s been chronicling her prep for the demo, and will bring the process of weaving wool to life for you when you stop by. We have gifts, we have special offers, and we have our special lines, The Portland Collection and Thomas Kay.

Do we sound excited? We are excited. We can’t wait to invite you in. And what better doors to open than those of the Ward’s firehouse?

3rd Ward Firehouse

Some History

The firehouse in which we’re located was restored to its former glory after the Third Ward fire.  The bronze statue out front captures a firefighter and his faithful companion waiting for the next bell. This is just one of the historic buildings in a fascinating American neighborhood that actually began as an urban swamp drained in the early 1900s by the Irish immigrant community.  They built homes, wharves, warehouses, rendering plants,  shipping house and more. The railroad came through in 1856, helping to form a trade route from Lake Michigan to the West.

The Ward was thriving in 1852 when a fire started in the Water Street Union Oil & Paint Company.  Fanned by 50 mph winds, the neighborhood ignited. Help came from as far away as Chicago and Oshkosh, but 440 buildings burned and 1900 people (mostly Irish families) were left homeless. This drastic fire accounts for the cohesive look of the Third Ward. Milwaukee’s leading architects came together to redesign the commercial buildings. Many stonemasons and bricklayers were needed during the 35 years of reconstruction. Italian immigrants skilled in these trades settled the neighborhood and by 1915, the neighborhood had transformed into a predominantly (and proudly) Italian community.

The Historic Third Ward was built on rail and water trade, and its fortunes rose and fell with those transport methods. The birth of the American freeway system and growth of the trucking industry led to the Ward’s decline.

Old Ward photos from before the fire

By the 1970s, the neighborhood was neglected and embattled, with an unclear future. Milwaukee rallied around this historic district, and began the long road to reclamation. In the 1990s, the Third Ward stepped up the renewal plan with streetscapes, parking structures and a riverwalk. Today, the neighborhood is a marriage of historic buildings and modern planning.

new Ward buildings

With its public market, lofts, galleries, theaters and restaurants, the neighborhood’s renaissance is ongoing. Pendleton is proud to be part of it.

Events

The grand opening starts 8/30/13. Come see for these special events:

– Discover The Portland Collection for Fall 2013

– Introducing The Thomas Kay Collection, celebrating our 150 years of weaving craftsmanship and English heritage

– See the new 2013 Pendleton Home Collection

– FREE Thomas Kay Muffler with purchase of Thomas Kay product

– Enter to win gift cards and Pendleton apparel and home goods