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

Fall 2012 reboot of a favorite

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.

Fall 2012 Toboggan Coat for women

Archival inspiration

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:

Archival toboggan coats in the pendleton Archives

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):

Camel toboggan coat from the archives

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

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:

Front and back views of a Pendleton toboggan coat in the metropolitan  Museum's collection

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:

Another Pendleton toboggan coat in red from the Pendleton archives

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.

collar detail

And here’s an archival khaki version from 1929, just for fun.

KHaki colored archival toboggan coat

Labels, too!

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

Woven label with woman skiing

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 elsewhere. We do have Ms. Pickford in some other shots with Pendleton.

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

Anita Page in a Pendleton blanket 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.