Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® and Easy-Care Blankets: It’s Easy Being Green

From the sheep to the shelf

072913_ecowise_header

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® passes strict standards of sustainability and stewardship. That sounds admirable, doesn’t it? But those lofty words would mean nothing at all if Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® products weren’t soft, richly colored and delightful to touch.

There are many, many products out there claiming to be green. Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® has been Cradle to Cradle Certified© by MBDC, a respected product and process design firm dedicated to promoting sustainable production. The best way to explain it? If you were to take a Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® blanket and bury it (but please don’t!), it would leave the earth better, not worse, for the addition.

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® is an innovation in the Umatilla wool we’ve woven for over a century. With a great deal of trial (and a reasonable amount of error), we produced Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® that we could guarantee for quality. So maybe you want to wrap yourself up in environmental responsibility this year, or maybe you just want something beautiful, wooly and Pendleton. In either case, we have plenty to show you.

All the Blankets

Our washable bed blankets for 2013 are offered in ten plaids, eight of which are shown below.

Eight Plaids blankets

Love those blanket-stitched edges. These are washable, and get softer with each trip through the spin cycle.

The solid blankets (18 colors) and matching shams coordinate back to the bed blanket plaids so they can be used together, or used alone for a clean, contemporary look. Here are eight of the shades:

solids blankets

Wool is a perfect choice for top-of-bed. There is a subtlety to the texture, nothing shiny or artificial about it, and the color will remain true forever. You can add accent interest with pillows  or maybe the fringed Eco-Wise Wool Lambswool Throw.

5 fringed throws

This is actually a lambswool/merino blend, and if you know your wools, you’ll appreciate what merino does for the hand. It is soft.  The plaids coordinate back to both the plaid and solid bed blankets, or stand on their own in any room of your home.

There are accent pillows, fabric by-the-yard, window panels and more available in Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool®.

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

Stitch magazine – creating with fabric + thread, and Pendleton, too!

Stitch Magazine

Cover of Stitch Magazine

The latest issue of Stitch has a “Spotlight on Wool,” and Pendleton and our Woolen Mill Store are featured all through it! If you’ve ever had any questions about how to sew with wool, this issue of Stitch has the answers. From the rich history of American wool fabrics, to wool quilting and making your first wool coat, the Spotlight on Wool issue is full of project ideas, information and inspiration.

We’re lucky to have four Portland wool experts featured in this issue.

Susan Beal – “History of Wool in America” & “How Wool Fabric is Made”

Susan is a well-known quilter and crafter, whose recent book, Modern Log Cabin Quilting, features a Pendleton quilt. She is the president of Portland Modern Quilt Guild, and a frequent instructor on Wool Quilting at the Woolen Mill Store.  Her custom baby quilt design using Pendleton Wool is sold at the store. Her articles for this issue draw on her textile expertise, and we are delighted to be featured in both.

Spread in Stitch Magazine featuring the history of Pendleton's mills

Michelle Freedman – “Go-Retro Wool Quilt” project & instructions

Photo of the Go-Retro quilt project

Michelle, a quilt and pattern designer, is a graduate of Parsons The New School for Design. She loves vintage hand sewing, which inspires her modern quilt designs. She works in the Embroidery Dept at Pendleton Woolen Mill Store, teaches craft classes at the store & sews projects for us. Michelle’s Go-Retro Quilt was inspired by a 1950s Temporama coffee cup.

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool fabrics and a vintage coffee cup

She recognized that the Eco-Wise wool color palette matched the cup’s colors. Michelle says the Eco-Wise sews like butter and swears by the ease of using wool for sewing projects, especially this darling quilt which is on its way back to the store soon for display.

Linda Turner Griepentrog – “Sewing Wool Coating”

Linda is a Contributing Editor of Stitch, and owner of G Wiz Creative Services. This article provides great information on which coating wool is best suited for your coat project, like how to match weight with weave. All the pictured wools are Pendleton.

Pendleton apparel fabrics

Linda’s Sew-and-Go Poncho on pg. 50 uses our Royal Blue Melton and Squash Eco-Wise fabrics.

Photo of the Sew n Go poncho project

Daniela Caine – “Northwest Modern Laptop Cover” project & instructions

Daniela is a fantastic pattern designer who designed this laptop cover in Pendleton jacquard and leather.

Photo of the laptop cover project

She also designed this adorable kid’s coat using our Walking Rock fabric.

Front and back views of a child's coat, modeled by an adorable little girl

Daniela’s expertise extends to quilting as well as pattern making, and she is published in Susan Beal’s Modern Log Cabin Quilting.

We are so proud of our designers and their terrific projects that showcase our Pendleton textiles. Stitch is available in our store, so stop by and get yours. As you read through the magazine, keep an eye out for the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store ad, with fabrics that will be featured on the store’s blog next week. And don’t forget the Fall Fabric Sale starting 9/4/2012 – that will be our largest fabric sale event of the year!

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

PENDLETON’S WASHOUGAL MILL: 100 Years of Weaving in America

Washougal Industry

A vintage photo of Pendleton's Washougal, Washington mill.

The looms continue weaving in Washougal, Washington, as the mill celebrates 100 years as a key part of Pendleton Woolen Mills’ operations. Running three shifts a day, the mill’s 190 employees keep the dye house, looms and sewing rooms humming to produce the virgin wool fabric used in Pendleton products.

Washougal sits on the banks of the Columbia River at the entry to the scenic Columbia River Gorge. Pendleton was already operating a mill in Pendleton, Oregon, when the company acquired the Washougal mill in 1912.  The additional mill gave Pendleton the ability to weave a wider variety of fabrics. Sir Pendleton worsted and Umatilla woolen fabric are both woven in Washougal, as well as fabrics for the women’s line. “The Washougal community helped fund the startup of this mill and has supported Pendleton ever since,” said Charlie Bishop, VP of Mill Operations. In turn, the mill has been a major employer in this small Washington town since it opened.

History

Fabric weaving was once a major industry in the United States, with more than 800 mills in operation. Today only a handful of those mills remain. At 100 years young, the Washougal mill is thriving as a world-class facility with state-of-the-art technology and machinery. In recent decades Pendleton has added dye house computer technology, wider looms to allow for the production of king-sized blankets, additional finishing equipment, more napping machines and a team sewing system to help the Washougal mill meet the tremendous demand for made in the USA textiles. The mill has worked hard to develop environmentally friendly and compliant processes.

“Few major U.S. manufacturers weave their own fabric in America,” said Bishop, a fifth generation member of the family that founded and operates Pendleton Woolen Mills. “Because we oversee every aspect of the process, including buying the wool, we can trace back every piece we make. It allows us to maintain a standard unmatched in the industry.” Its roots may be historic, but the Washougal mill is a 300,000-square-foot model of modern efficiency. “Mill owners come from around the world to tour it,” said Bishop. “Pendleton continues to lead the world in weaving techniques, dyeing processes, and fabric finishing.”

Washougal’s Historic Bell

The Washougal mill traditionally marks important occasions by ringing a historic brass bell that sits above the boiler room. The bell was cast in 1865 in Boston, Massachusetts, at the famous Revere Foundry, founded by Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere. The bell saw service at Davis & Furber in North Andover, Massachusetts, until 1865, when it was sent by sailing ship around the horn and up to Brownsville, Oregon, the site of another Pendleton mill.

A young Clarence Morton Bishop worked at the Brownsville mill at the time. According to the Pendleton’s current president, Clarence Morton Bishop III, “There may be some letters in the Pendleton archives where the original CM Bishop laments the bell tolling him out of bed as a young boy.” Brownsville closed in 1918. The bell was given to Clarence Morton Bishop, perhaps as a souvenir of all those early mornings. He moved it to the Washougal mill, officially dedicating it in a ceremony on June 30, 1938. It still hangs there today.

The historic bell at the Washougal Mill.

“To me, sitting atop the boiler room and machine shop, that bell is the centerpiece of our mill,” said Charlie Bishop. Although the bell no longer rings out at 6:45 and 12:15 to remind workers to return to work, it still tolls on special occasions. In May 2012, the bell rang to mark the retirement of Thang Nguyen after 35 years of service. The bell will also ring in August 2012 to mark one hundred years of community and American-made quality at the Washougal Mill. To commemorate this historic milestone, Pendleton Woolen Mills, the City of Washougal, Two Rivers Heritage Museum, and Washougal Town Square are hosting a community celebration Aug. 3rd and 4th at the Mill, the Museum and in the surrounding community.

COMMUNITY EVENT SCHEDULE

Friday, August 3:

Dedication Ceremony, 100 Year Celebration Cake Cutting, Pendleton Woolen Mills, 10 – 10:30 a.m.

  • The Blessing –  a blessing of thanks and of continued prosperity by Native American Elder Buzz Nelson
  • The Generation of Family Celebration – Honoring the multi-generations of families who have worked at the Washougal Mill, including community  families with 3 generations or more of employees, the Bishop Family (now in its 6th generation of Pendleton Woolen Mills ownership since 1863) and the Washougal family including Mayor Sean Guard.
  • Ringing of the Historic Bell* and Cutting of the 100 Year Celebration Cake (with free servings all day at the Washougal Mill Outlet Store)

Pendleton Mill Tours, mornings at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m., and afternoons at 1:30  and 3:00 pm.  Tour the Pendleton Mill to experience both the 103 years of history and the state-of-the-art looms that weave Pendleton’s famous woolen fabrics

Washougal Days Beer & Wine Garden, 5 – 11 p.m. music from 6 p.m.  Continue the celebration with music and food for everyone.  Adults 21 and over can enjoy the outdoor beer & wine garden.  Hosted by the City of Washougal.  Admission charge.

Washougal Mill Outlet Store, open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. with specials throughout the store in addition to free cake.  Mill tours at 9 am, 10 am, 11 am and 1:30 pm.  2 Pendleton Way, Washougal, WA.  For tours: call 360-835-1118 or 800-568-2480.

 Papa’s Ice Cream,  open for the celebration from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

HEARTH Restaurant,  open for the celebration from 4 p.m. to close with live entertainment in the square.

Saturday, August 4:

Heritage Days 5K Run/Walk, 9 a.m. Start the day with this fun run/walk event sponsored by the Camas Lions Club and the Washougal Lions Club. Admission is free; donations accepted.

Kids & Kritters Parade,  Pendleton Fields, 20th and A Streets, 10 a.m.  Kids (and their parents & grandparents) and “Kritters” of all shapes and sizes are welcome to join the parade. Come a few minutes ahead to get a number and position in line.

 Two Rivers Heritage Museum, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Camas Washougal Historical Society will host its annual Heritage Day celebration and fund raiser at TwoRiversMuseum which includes free admission to the museum, craft booths, blacksmithing demonstration and mountain men setting up a camp with black powder demonstrations. Museum tours include collection of antique sewing baskets and quilts, old tools, blacksmith forge, a horse drawn sleigh and a doctor’s buggy. Enter to win prizes, including a Pendleton Blanket.

Equestrian Demonstrations, Pendleton Woolen Mills, 1 – 2 p.m.   This event will include presentation of the US Flag and National Anthem, equestrian drill teams and pony cart demonstrations.

Washougal Days Beer & Wine Garden, ReflectionPlaza, 5 – 11 p.m., with music from 6 p.m.  Continue the celebration with music and food for everyone.  Adults 21 and over can enjoy the outdoor beer & wine garden.

The Pendleton Mill Store at Washougal, Washington.

Washougal Mill Outlet Store and Mill Tours, open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  with specials throughout the store and tours at the mill next door. The mill is open to the public for tours year-round. Visitors can see (and hear) the entire process that transforms giant bales of scoured wool into Pendleton’s “Warranted to Be” textiles. To learn more about public tours, visit www.pendleton-usa.com.  The mill is located at 2 Pendleton Way, Washougal, WA, 98671.

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool®: Sustainable, Beautiful, Responsible

A stack of Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool products.

From the sheep to the shelf…

…Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® passes strict standards of sustainability and stewardship. That sounds admirable, doesn’t it? But those lofty words would mean nothing at all if Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® products weren’t soft, richly colored and delightful to touch.

There are many, many products out there claiming to be green. Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® has been Cradle to Cradle Certified© by MBDC, a respected product and process design firm dedicated to promoting sustainable production. If you’re curious, you can find out more here.  The best way to explain it? If you were to take a Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® blanket and bury it (but please don’t!), it would leave the earth better, not worse, for the addition.

Mill Innovation

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® is an innovation in the Umatilla wool we’ve woven for over a century that uses nontoxic biodegradable dyes. With a great deal of trial and a reasonable amount of error, we produced Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® that we could guarantee for quality.

So maybe you want to wrap yourself up in environmental responsibility this year, or maybe you just want something beautiful, wooly and Pendleton. In either case, we have plenty to show you.

Our washable bed blankets are offered in four plaids.

Plaid Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool bed blankets.

Love those blanket-stitched edges. These are washable, and get softer with each trip through the spin cycle.

The solid blankets and matching shams coordinate back to the bed blanket plaids so they can be used together, or used alone for a clean, contemporary look. Here are a few shades:

Solid color Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool bed blankets.

Wool is a perfect choice for top-of-bed. There is a subtlety to the texture, nothing shiny or artificial about it, and the color will remain true forever. You can add accent interest with pillows  or…

…maybe the fringed Lambswool Throw.

Plaid Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool fringed throws.

This is actually a lambswool/merino blend, and if you know your wools, you’ll appreciate what woven merino does for the hand of this throw. It is soft.  The six plaids coordinate back to both the plaid and solid bed blankets, or stand on their own in any room of your home.

We also offer it in white …

A lovely white herringbone fringed throw by Pendleton.

…which we brought back after a consumer clamor. Calm down! It’s back! The perfect shower/wedding gift is available again!

There are accent pillows, fabric by-the-yard, window panels and more available in Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool®. Give us a visit  and see all our colorful ways to be green.