Serapes for Spring & Summer

 

Serape on Film

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in a promotional shot from "Killers of the Flower Moon." Photo used bypermission of Apple Original Films.

Ah, the serape. This bold striped blanket reads modern, but it has been around a long time. In fact, a (very) vintage Pendleton Serape will be featured in Martin Scorcese’s upcoming Apple Original film, Killers of the Flower Moon. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart and Lily Gladstone plays Mollie Burkhart in the film depicting the true story of the Osage tribe murders in the 1920s. In this promo shot (courtesy Apple Original Filsms), Lily Gladstone is wrapped in a vintage Pendleton fringed shawl serape, provided to the film by our friend and vintage blanket expert Barry Friedman. 

Serape History

The serape’s roots are in the Mexican weaving tradition, but it is now common to both Spanish and Native American textiles. Here’s a photo of a Native family in a historic Babbitt Brothers wagon with a serape peeking over the edge. This was taken in the Southwest, where the Babbitts plied (and still ply) their trade.

HistoricBabbitWagonEdit2

Colorful, sturdy and functional, this blanket shawl was part of life in the traditional Mexican home. It could serve as clothing, bedding, and shelter. The serape is known by many names throughout Mexico, including chamarro, cobiga, and gaban. It can be woven of a variety of materials and patterns but is generally lighter in weight. Different regions use different palettes, from the elegant neutrals of the Mexican highlands to the bold gradients of Coahuila.

Serapes Today

Pendleton serapes hang on pegs in front of a white wall, with more folded on a crate.

Pendleton’s serapes are woven of 82% wool/18% cotton in bands of gradient colors to achieve that beautiful eye-popping dimensional effect. This is your perfect spring and summer blanket, just waiting to be invited along wherever you go. And this year we have a new design in Aqua.

Pendleton Aqua Serape

All made in the USA and available at www.pendleton-usa.com .

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

The Babbitt Wagon

Grand Floral Parade

If you know anything about Portland’s Rose Festival, you know that Portlanders love our Grand Floral Parade. We love it enough that year after year, we stand (and sit and camp overnight, but that is a different story) on our city’s curbs to watch it, no matter the weather. Covered in slickers and trash bags, umbrellas and newspapers over our heads, we watch the well-watered floats go by. But not this year! We had gorgeous (and long) days throughout the festival, especially the day of the big parade.

2009 Rose Show Babbitt Wagon drawn by horse

2009 Rose Show , Babbitt wagon with a native American rider alongside

Which reminded everyone around here of our last entry in Grand Floral Parade. Yes, that was our entry, decorated by Pendleton volunteers.

Wagon and pendleton blankets

We were delighted that it won a blue ribbon, but we shouldn’t have been surprised. It isn’t just any wagon; it’s a Babbitt Brothers wagon.

The Babbitt Brothers

Babbit Red Crown Trading post

This is one of the original wagons used by the Babbitt brothers, five shopkeepers who came west in 1886 to make their mark. They founded the C O Bar cattle ranch, as well as opening a mercantile in Flagstaff. In time, their success with commerce outpaced their success with cattle. Over the next 100 years, the Babbitts owned and operated over twenty trading posts, doing business with the Navajo, Hopi and Apache tribes.

Historic Babbit Wagon with family and pendleton serape

Library photo of babbitt Wagon

Today

Babbitt’s is still active and thriving (and working with Pendleton). Thanks to the generosity of the Babbitt family, this historic wagon was used quite a bit when we celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the opening of Pendleton Woolen Mill in Pendleton. It made a visit to the Pendleton Round-Up.

Babbitt wagon at the Pendleton round-up

And the blue-ribbon-winning wagon (plain, of course, it hasn’t been bedecked in quite a while) is currently residing in the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store. Its rather grand history makes a nice backdrop for displays of our blankets.

Babbitt wagon at the Woolen Mill Store

Babbitt close-up

We will be transporting it back to the Babbitts eventually, but until we do, please feel free to stop by and see it. This wagons has made so many trips, it is truly part of the history of the West.