Medicine Bow – a New Blanket and More

River Inspiration

This beautiful new blanket was inspired by the Medicine Bow River in Wyoming.

Pendleton blanket: Medicine Bow

Medicine Bow

The Medicine Bow River rises deep in Wyoming’s Snowy Range to flow 167 miles on its way to the Medicine Bow Mountains. Native tribes traveled to the area to harvest mountain mahogany for especially fine bows. Stands of wood alternate with bands of arrows, meeting in the center to show the Medicine Bow River crossing, an important link between East and West.

Take a look at the beautiful Medicine Bow River!

The Medicine Bow River, photo by Colby Thomas
Photo by Colby Thomas on Unsplash

The river is a beauty, but it isn’t the only Medicine Bow in Wyoming. Far from it.

Medicine Bow Peak

The highest point of Snowy Range –and the highest point in southern Wyoming–is Medicine Bow Peak (12,018 ft). Intrepid (and hopefully experienced) hikers reach the mountain’s peak on a four-mile trail that features numerous switchbacks and plenty of loose rock. It’s part of the Medicine Bow Mountains, near Laramie, Wyoming.

Medicine Bow National Forest

The river, the peak, and the mountains are part of an enormous preserve called The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland (also known as the MBRTB). The MBRTB is composed of nearly 2.9 million acres in northern Colorado and eastern Wyoming. The entire complex of mountains ranges, grasslands, and vast unspoiled landscapes spans two states and over a dozen counties.

Medicine Bow, the Town

There’s also a tiny town in Carbon County, Wyoming that bears the Medicine Bow name. With a population of only 200 to 300 people, Medicine Bow has maintained a post office since 1869. It is home to the famed Virginian Hotel. In the past, the town hosted outlaws like Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch, who committed the Wilcox Train Robbery just a few miles away from Medicine Bow.

Medicine Bow is a beautiful place and a beautiful pattern that is showcased in this wool jacket.

A man wearing a Pendleton jacket

More information at pendleton-usa.com:

Blanket

Jacket

Last Chance Blankets for January, 2023

Now is the time!

Our USA mills in Oregon and Washington run three shifts a day to keep up with the demand for our wool blankets. Each year, we have to retire blankets to make room on the loom for our newest designs. Stock is low on the following blankets, so if you have been considering one, now is the time!

Child-sized Blankets

Pendleton Moon Dance child-size blanket

Moon Dance

The Menominee tribe of the Great Lakes region tells a tale of Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Brother Sun set out on a long hunt and did not return, causing Sister Moon to worry. She searched far and wide for her brother, waxing and waning for twenty days until she, too, disappeared. But Sister Moon always returns after four nights of darkness to light the night with her soft beams. Sister Moon’s search for Brother Sun is portrayed in this pattern of a cloud-obscured moon dancing gently over water.

This peaceful child-sized blanket was introduced in Fall 2020. It is 32″ x 44″, and napped for cozy story times. It also looks beautiful draped over the back of a chair. See it here: Moon Dance

Star Guardian

Pendleton Star Guardian child-sized blanket.

Crossed arrows stand for brotherhood and the setting aside of conflicts. A peaceful evening has come to the prairie. It is time to light the fires and draw together in the warmth of the fire circle. As logs crackle and flames flicker, stories rise on the night air. Stories of bravery and victory in battle. Stories of stealth and bounty in the hunt. Stories of tricksters and their clever magic. As they share their legends, the People are safe and warm in their tepees. Above it all shines Bear, the great guardian of the night skies.

This charming child-sized blanket was introduced in Fall of 2017. It is 32″ x 44″, and softly napped for soft snuggles, cuddles, and naps. It also makes a fine wall-hanging. See it here: Star Guardian

Robe-sized Blankets

Alamosa

The Alamosa blanket by Pendleton - red, beige, blue

“Of a time long ago, these things are said.” The Navajo language is spoken like a poem, and tells of the first beings, the Air-Spirit People, who emerged in the First World. There, a red island held the Insect People; ants, dragonflies, beetles, and a dwelling called House of Red Rock. To the east, a stepped pattern shows the Place Where the Waters Crossed, home to the sunrise. In the center, blue streams converge, then flow toward each of the sacred Four Directions. 

This spectacular robe-sized blanket (twin) was introduced in Fall of 2020. It is unnapped, so the smooth beauty of the pattern shines through, and is finished with a whipstitch binding. See it here: Alamosa

Crescent Bay

Pendleton Crescent Bay blanket

Crescent Bay, near Laguna Beach in southern California, is part of the California’s 810 miles of ocean coastline. Waves of diamonds represent the waters of the bay, where divers can see an array of sea life; kelp gardens, fish, seals, sea lions–even sharks. Above the bay floats the marine layer, an inversion created when the cool ocean meets warm air. Sometimes clear, sometimes foggy, the marine layer lingers along the coast, gently dispelling inland heat with the cooling power of the Pacific Ocean.

This California-themed robe-sized blanket was introduced in the Spring of 2020. It is unnapped, so the pattern definition is excellent, and it’s finished with a wool binding. See it here: Crescent Bay

Bedding Collection (multiple sizes)

Alta Lakes

Pendleton Alta lakes blanket, shown in Queen size

In the high, clear air of the San Juan Mountains, three alpine lakes nestle against Palmyra Peak. This is Southwestern Colorado’s Alta Lakes recreation area, home to hiking, fishing, boating and paddle boarding. Nearby is a tiny ghost town named Alta, a mining center in the 1800s and early 1900s. The evening sky is lit by glowing bands of sunset colors that touch the peaks of the San Juan Mountains, surrounding the three glowing Alta Lakes.

This vibrant blanket design was introduced as a bedding collection in Fall of 2021. The photo above shows the Queen size. It is unnapped for vibrant pattern definition, and is finished with a whipstitch binding. See the collection here: Alta Lakes

Blankets that Give Back to Nature

Blankets with a cause

At Pendleton, we believe in giving back. We have created beautiful blankets that benefit many philanthropic partnerships, and today’s post is focused on blankets that give back to causes near and dear to Nature.

Oregon Blankets

Pacific Wonderland

Pendleton "Pacific Wonderland" blanket

From the pristine shores of Wallowa Lake to the ocean overlooks of Ecola Point, Oregon’s state park system includes 256 places to hike, picnic, camp, and recharge. It all began one hundred years ago with five acres of donated land that set aside a special place for everyone. In shades of moody indigo, a moonlit landscape celebrates the centennial of the Oregon state parks and our commitment to preserve our Pacific Wonderland for the next 100 years.

The Pacific Wonderland blanket helps support the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s “Park Explorer Series”, which aims to remove barriers to outdoor recreation. Projects include building trails that everybody can use, showcasing parks digitally, and making camping possible for folks who may otherwise never get to try it.

See it here: Pacific Wonderland

Forever Oregon

Pendleton "Forever Oregon" blanket

This limited-edition wool blanket honors our home state’s park system. In this design, Mt. Hood watches over a reflective lake flanked by forests, with geometric patterns honoring Oregon’s original inhabitants. Medallions for 12 beloved state parks are bordered by stripes in colors that echo their landscapes.

Purchase of this blanket also helps support the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s “Park Explorer Series.” If you’d like to know more about the twelve parks selected for this blanket, you can read a little about wach of them here: Forever Oregon

See the blanket here: Forever Oregon

More Nature Blankets that Give Back

Wildland Heroes

The Pendleton Wildland Heroes blanket shows bands of geometric designs that also include evergreen trees, with a dark forest green background, light blue trangles to symbolize water, and yellow and orange accents that represent the threat of wildfires.

The scent of smoke fills the air. An orange glow lights the horizon. Mother Nature is on alert, and Wildland Firefighters stand ready to defend her. These brave men and women hold the line against fire’s destruction with team effort; digging lines, running hoses, saving structures when they can. In Pendleton’s tribute to Wildland Firefighting, bands of deep forest alternate with lines of flame, lighting trees endangered by flame. A portion of this blanket’s sales help the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which supports families and injured firefighters in times of need.

Supporting Wildfire-relted Casues

This blanket supports the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. We have also used it to support other causes in times of great need. You can read about one of those here: Thank You for Helping the Red Cross. We also held a special sale of this blanket to generate a substantial donation to relief for the Australian Bushfires of 2019-2020.

See it here: Wildland Heroes

National Park Blankets

Pendleton National Park blankets over a fence in front of a mountain

Every Pendleton National Park blanket (as well as throws, apparel, accessories and bags, footwear, mugs, everything!) generates a donation to the National Park Foundation. Funds from our donations have been used to restore the Helical Stairs at Many Glaciers Lodge in Glacier National Park (read about it here: Your Gift to the National Parks: Helical Stairs Project). We are also helping to fund the restoration of the Depot at Grand Canyon National Park, which is still ongoing (read about that here: The Depot Project is Underway!). And, a new project is coming! Watch for an exciting announcement soon.

You can see our current selection of Park blankets (some blankets in the above photo are retired) and Parks-related merchandise at http://www.pendleton-usa.com. And thank you for supporting these important causes.

Pendleton "Born in Oregon" Logo

#IndigenousPeoplesDay

Today is Indigenous Peoples Day.

Today and every day, we celebrate the work of our partners at the American Indian College Fund. The College Fund supports community-based accredited tribal colleges and universities that offer students access to knowledge, skills and cultural values that enhance their communities and the country as a whole.

For over 20 years, Pendleton has joined their mission with a collection of College Fund blankets, and the Pendleton endowment, to help fund scholarships to students. So far, over $1 million dollars in scholarships have been funded for 1,288 American Indian and Alaska Native students at all 35 tribal college and universities.

The Blankets, the Designers

Two College Fund scholars have designed blankets in the collection.

The newest is Unity designed by Chelysa Owens-Cyr.

The Unity blanket, by Pendleton Woolen Mills for the American Indian College Fund.

The Lakota word for horse is Sunka Wakan, or Holy Dog. At sunrise, a horse gallops through a Lakota village of traditional tipis. A geometric Morning Star greets the dawn over each dwelling, announcing the coming of sunlight to the earth and the gift of a new day. The horse or Holy Dog stands for strength and unity, the central figure in a design that represents how Nature and Native people are one.

Chelysa Owens-Cyr (Fort Peck Assiniboine & Dakota Sioux/Pasqua First Nations Cree) is an artist from Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Designer Chelysa Owens-Cyr (Fort Peck Assiniboine & Dakota Sioux/Pasqua First Nations Cree) is an artist from Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation. As a College Fund scholar, she studied Business Administration at Fort Peck Community College. She is a self-taught contemporary ledger artist, beader, graphic designer and painter, influenced by her family and culture. “I work with many mediums to share my personal teachings, beliefs, stories and visions with the people.”

Courage to Bloom is designed by Deshawna Anderson.

The Courage to Bloom blanket, by Pendleton Woolen Mills for the American Indian College Fund.

Arrow shapes in this pattern symbolize finding a good path in life, acknowledging that every path holds pitfalls and dangers, as well as opportunity. To honor the loss of missing and murdered indigenous Native people, an hourglass shape at the base of the largest blossom symbolizes life’s spiritual journey through the most difficult circumstances.

Designer Deshawna Anderson (White Mountain Apache/Crow) is a College Fund scholar at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana, where she studies Business Administration. She is of the Butterfly Clan and a child of the Greasy Mouth.

Designer Deshawna Anderson (White Mountain Apache/Crow) was a College Fund scholar at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana, where she studies Business Administration. She is of the Butterfly Clan and a child of the Greasy Mouth.

More Information

You can see all the blankets for the College Fund at pendleton-usa.com. We look forward to introducing a third scholar-designed blanket next year.

SteP Certified!

Exciting News

We are pleased to announce that our century-old mills in Washougal, WA and Pendleton, OR are certified STeP by OEKO-TEX® (21001295 HOHENSTEIN HTTI). Both mills have been weaving for over 110 years and are continually updated for sustainability and innovation.

STeP by OEKO-TEX® is a certification system for production facilities in the textile industry. Certification assesses production facilities at all processing stages to allow brands to communicate environmental measures. The Pendleton mills were scored in various areas including, chemical management, environmental performance and management, social responsibility, quality management, and health and safety.

STeP is the First Step

This is a milestone on our path to certified sustainability for all our mill products. The process is long and requirements are stringent. Members of our mill teams have worked tirelessly to collect and submit the needed data, and projects have been identified and initiated to make it happen. 

“Pendleton is committed to creating a sustainable product lifecycle. As a vertical operation, the impact we have on the environment is a priority in every process. Certifying the mills for sustainability is a tremendous step in this journey,” explained Rolan Snider, Pendleton’s vice president of textile manufacturing. “The sustainability journey begins with our use of wool as a natural fiber, the long-term relationships with USA wool growers and now continues through the local production in our sustainability-certified mills.”

You can learn more about the process and the path at oeko-tex.com. The Pendleton Woolen Mill located in Washougal, WA is located at 2 Pendleton Way, Washougal, WA 98671 and the Pendleton Woolen Mill located in Pendleton, OR is located at 1307 SE Court Pl, Pendleton, OR 97801. Both mills offer tours year round.

Voice of the Body – a limited edition blanket by Andre Walker

Andre Walker

We are excited to once again work with renowned designer Andre Walker, as he brings his singular sense of style to the Pendleton looms for the very first time.

Designer Andre Walker, photo courtesy Andre Walker

Walker imagined, painted and designed “Voice of the Body” in his Brooklyn-based studio with the desire to have it tangibly come to life, and invited Pendleton to transform his artwork for the loom.

The limited edition blanket feature a striking set of deep brown eyes, vibrant pink lips in fellowship with a pictogram-like figure overlaying a cornflower blue, tan and yolk gradient.

Voice of the Body blanket by Pendleton Woolen Mills, designed by Andre Walker

Inspiration for the “Voice of the Body” painting and blanket came from Walker thinking about God and existence. “It’s about the spirit in the gut of our intuition as it remains hopeful in our expression of the voice of the body,” explained Walker. He views the painting and blanket as a muse for the singularity of humanity’s soul eschewing specifics of color, materiality and perception.

Pendleton’s designers and weavers always look forward to the challenge of expressing an artist’s ideas, and Walker’s dramatic vision comes across beautifully. Below is his original artwork, to which the blanket remains remarkably faithful.

Andre Walker's original artwork for the Voice of the Body blanket.

Pendleton and Andre Walker

This is the second collaboration for Pendleton and Walker. The first was Walker’s 2017 collection titled “Non-Existent Patterns” where he used Pendleton fabrics, including the Glacier National Park pattern to create pieces that he originally designed between 1982 and 1986. This collection is currently featured in The Met Museum’s exhibit “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” until Sept. 5, 2022. 

“I’ve taken our second exchange with Pendleton to another level, designing a singular textile artwork. I loved the idea that it was a universal utility free of physiognomic boundaries. It was magical to see the image come to life on the looms. Working with Pendleton is a perfect match of know-how, artistry and industry,” noted Walker.

The limited edition “Voice of the Body” blankets, signed by the artist, are now available on pendleton-usa.com and at various luxury retail outlets.

Learn More

See the blanket here: VOICE OF THE BODY

Read previous posts about Pendleton and Andre Walker here:

Pendleton on the Runway with Andre Walker for Paris Fashion Week

Andre Walker, the Met Costume Institute, and Pendleton

Pendleton "Born in Oregon" Logo

The GATHER blanket, for the DigDeep Navajo Water Project

DigDeep

We are glad to announce that the GATHER blanket is back in stock. This beautiful blanket was designed by Emma Robbins, who is also the program’s director (you see her in the video above). When we unveiled the blanket in January, it sold out quickly. A portion of the sales from this blanket go to the DigDeep Navajo Water Project, a nonprofit that works to bring clean running water to the one in three Navajo families without it.

The Gather blanket by Pendleton Woolen Mills, designed by artist Emma Robbins and benefitting the DigDeep Navajo Water Project

GATHER

Like the piñon tree, members of the Navajo Nation gather resources to survive an increasingly precarious water supply. Diné artist Emma Robbins has gathered symbols of endurance for this design; a sáanii (maternal grandmother) scarf crossed by traditional sash belts used in ceremonies and childbirth. At the center, a young woman’s bracelet of silver is set with turquoise, a stone formed by rare rains flowing through arid layers of rock. A portion of blanket sales will support DigDeep’s  Navajo Water Project. 

Learn more about DIGDEEP here: The DIGDEEP Navajo Water Project

Details of the design components

Ms. Robbins shared photos of her inspirations with us.

First, the floral ground of the blanket is inspired by a sáanii scarf, as worn here by a sáanii (maternal grandmother in Navajo).

Photo of a Navajo woman wearing a traditional scarf. Photo courtesy Indian Country Today
96-year old Annette Bilagody, Navajo, is a retired rug weaver and beader. She and her family run a small online business where she sells her jewelry. (Photo courtesy Lucita Bennett family) (Caption and photo courtesy Indian Country Today)

Sáanii scarves have traditionally been worn by grandmothers, and are a symbol of wisdom and nurturing. Recently they have made their way into modern Navajo and Native fashion, and are worn to honor grandmothers and strong female teachers and role models. Both of Ms. Robbins’ grandmothers were strong matriarchs of their families, and played important roles in her upbringing. She remembers making art with Ann, her maternal grandmother, and harvesting piñons with Nora, her paternal grandmother, while sitting on a blanket. Piñons are also the namesake of her daughter.

Learn more about the history and meaning of the Sáanii scarf here: The Saanii scarf

Learn more about the piñon tree and its nut here: The piñon tree

Two Navajo Sash belts traverse the floral ground.

A Navajo sash belt in traditional red & green colors. Photo by Emma Robbins, belt designed by Jonessa Reid
Photo courtesy Emma Robbins, sash belt designed by Jonessa Reid

These traditional belts are woven in a specific color set of red or green, and worn by both men and women, depending on the ceremony. These belts are also an important birthing tool.

Learn more about sash belts here: The Navajo sash

At the center of the blanket design is a squash blossom bracelet gifted to Ms. Robbins at her Kinaaldá, a Navajo girl’s coming of age ceremony.

Turquoise and silver bracelet belonging to the arts, photo courtesy Emma Robbins

This bracelet made of turquoise, the sacred stone of the south to the Diné or Navajo. Known as dootlizh, it is considered to be a living and breathing being because it changes color as it ages. Turquoise also refers to water, as this stone is formed when water flows through rock, leaving behind specific minerals such as copper and aluminum. The minerals form veins of turquoise, flowing through rock in colors that range from deep green to palest blue. Turquoise is part of the Navajo creation story, and to this day Dootlizhii Ashkii (the Turquoise Boy) carries the sun across the sky each day. Turquoise brings long life and happiness to the wearer, as well as a means to restore good health; as Ms. Robbins says, “We come from water, and it is part of all human survival.”

Learn more about turquoise here: Turquoise

When Ms. Robbins designed the blanket, she combined these representations of survival and renewal in a watercolor; here is her original design for the GATHER blanket.

An original watercolor by Emma Robbins that served as design for the Pendleton Gather blanket, photo courtesy Pendleton Woolen Mills

More about Emma Robbins

Emma Robbins is a Diné artist, activist, and community organizer. As Executive Director of the Navajo Water Project, part of the human rights nonprofit DigDeep Water, she is working to create infrastructure that brings clean running water to the one in three Navajo families without it. In addition, she is the creator of The Chapter House, an Indigenous women-led community arts space, designed for Natives and welcoming all.

Read the Chapter House blog here: Chapter House

See works on Instagram here: Chapter House Instagram

Through her artwork, Robbins strives to raise awareness about the lack of clean water on Native Nations and educate viewers about issues such as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis, representations and misrepresentations of Native people, and the environmental impact of abandoned uranium mines. She explores these themes through photography, installations, and use of found materials foraged on her trips across the United States and abroad.

Her artist website is here: Emma Robbins

Emma Robbins, photo courtesy Emma Robbins

Ms. Robbins completed her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art History in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has been featured in The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, NPR, and on Erin Brockovich’s podcast, and has lectured at Yale, Brown, MIT and Skoll. She is an Aspen Institute Healthy Communities Fellow, serves on the Advisory Committee to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and is a recipient of an Environmental Leader Award. Robbins is a mom, has two dogs, and splits her time on Tongvaland (Los Angeles) and the Navajo Nation.

Many thanks to Ms. Robbins for these biographical notes, which were adapted from her website and from program notes for her various speaking engagements (with permission).

Emma Robbins and her daughter on the Pendleton blanket Ms. Robbins designed for the DigDeep Water Project blanket by Pendleton Woolen Mills.

Photo courtesy Emma Robbins. Emma and her daughter Piñon on the Gather blanket

Learn more about the Gather blanket here: Gather

Last Chance Blankets – 2022

Only here for a short time more…

Spirit Seeker

The front of the Pendleton Spirit Seeker blanket.

The quest for knowledge leads the spiritual seeker on many paths. In Australia, bush people go on ritual wanderings known as walkabouts. The Babongo people of Africa have a rebirthing ritual that includes a journey to find spiritual truth.  Native Americans from many different tribes go on vision quests, rites of passage that include fasting, prayer, and a solitary journey to find life’s purpose. Spirit Seeker celebrates Spirit Seekers and their journeys with multi-directional arrows bordering a medallion, the central truth reached by multiple paths.

Gift of the Earth

Pendleton Gift of the Earth blanket

Learn more about this blanket here: Gift of the Earth

Saddle Mountain
Saddle Mountain blanket by Pendleton - gold, purple, blue and off white

Saddle Mountain is a scenic peak in the Oregon Coast Range, and the tallest mountain in Oregon’s Clatsop County. It is also one of the most beautiful places in Oregon to watch the sunrise. Bold blocks of warm colors evoke the rising sun in a design derived from early strip quilt patterns. In the center, a row of stylized stars evoke the planets Mercury and Venus, sometimes called Morning Stars, as they rise on a new day.

Morning Cradleboard

Bold colors and arrow shapes, Wendy Ponca's Morning Cradleboard blanket

Learn more about this blanket and the designer here: Wendy Ponca

Star Guardian

Crossed arrows stand for brotherhood and the setting aside of conflicts. A peaceful evening has come to the prairie. It is time to light the fires and draw together in the warmth of the fire circle. As logs crackle and flames flicker, stories rise on the night air. Stories of bravery and victory in battle. Stories of stealth and bounty in the hunt. Stories of tricksters and their clever magic. As they share their legends, the People are safe and warm in their tepees. Above it all shines Bear, the great guardian of the night skies.

When they’re gone, they’re gone.

You can see these blankets and more at Pendleton-usa.com. Last Chance Blankets

Celebrating Pendleton’s Woolen Mill Store with a Work of Fabric Art

Zero Mill Waste and the Woolen Mill Store

As a brand, Pendleton Woolen Mills offers some unique experiences to consumers, like tours of our working woolen mills in Oregon and Washington (health restrictions permitting). That’s where we weave most of the wool textiles used in our wool apparel and world-famous wool blankets.

Weaving generates a variety of trimmings, selvages, and “headers” (the point where a run of blanket material joins with the next run of a different blanket material). Pendleton has always had a “zero mill waste” policy. Efficient use of all mill products was part of our mission in 1909, when we re-opened a stilled factory in Pendleton, Oregon. It is an even stronger part of Pendleton’s mission today. That means our leftover fabrics and trimmings go to one of our most unique locations; the Woolen Mill Store in Milwaukie, Oregon (just outside Portland city limits).

This store occupies what was Pendleton’s “Foundation Woolen Mill” for many years. Back in the day, “foundations” were linings, and the entire output of this mill was devoted to lining for men’s woolen neckties. Over the years, many other fabrics were woven here, until 1999, when this mill’s operations were merged with our mill in Washougal, Washington. The facility was used for storage until 2008, when the Woolen Mill Store relocated from its original “Little Red Store” location to the Foundation building.

The store occupies 12,000 square feet with 350 rolls of Pendleton fabrics. More than just a fabric store, the Woolen Mill Store sells Pendleton yarn, buttons, notions and patterns. Weekly deliveries from Pendleton’s mills bring multicolored selvage and blanket trimmings, prized by crafters all over the county for rugs and other creative pursuits. The store also offers Pendleton apparel, hats and bags, and one the largest first-quality blanket selections found in any Pendleton store—the blanket wall here is a marvel.

Today’s Refreshed Woolen Mill Store  

The exterior of the Woolen Mill Store in Milwaukie, Oregon.

We have just refreshed this store inside and out. The exterior has a new bold color scheme that recalls a National Park blanket, and lit signage.

The lit signs at the Woolen Mill Store "Fabric, Blankets, Crafts & More"

Inside, we have an improved layout, expanded classroom space, and a wealth of informational and historical displays. When you visit, you’ll see a one-of-a-kind banner behind the cash wrap that celebrates the materials and craft at the heart of the Woolen Mill Store.

The cash wrap at the Woolen Mill Store, with a large banner hanging behind it.

Measuring 8′ x 12′, the banner was designed and created by Pendleton’s Marketing team. The design is based on the Mt Hood graphic on a vintage shirt box, which is also used in our current Born in Oregon logo. The pattern was enlarged onto a full-sized paper pattern using a slide projector.

A projector shines a Pendleton advertising logo on a wall.

This pattern was cut apart and used to trace the shape of the mountain and the shoreline.

A brown craft paper pattern for the mountain on the banner.

The sky and lake shape are made from the same fabric – the face and reverse of a wool denim. The 150+ stylized trees were cut from a wide range of plaids, stripes, jacquards, and solid fabric, including our Sunbrella outdoor fabrics.

The richly colored fabrics, all in shades of blue, were appliqued together with a fusible bonding, and then machine quilted with a layer of wool batting and a solid cotton backing fabric. This secured all the fabric layers and created a diamond patterned stitch design over the entire surface. The quilting was done by Nancy at Just Quilting in Portland. You can find her at @justquilting on Instagram.

Once quilted, the layers of needle felted trees and the logo were added on top, and the banner was bound on all sides in felt by store staff. The logo was created using 3-D logo letters wrapped in wool yarn and sewn to the sky area of the banner. Shading on the lake is created with airbrushed fabric paint, the only element not sold at the Woolen Mill Store. The larger trees at the bottom, are created by freehand needle felting.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes movie of the process.

This is a celebration of hand crafting, and a fitting salute to our quality materials and the work that our customers create. Here’s a closer view, and we hope you’ll visit us to see it in person soon.

A banner that hangs in the Woolen Mill Store with mountain, lake, and trees.

More Information

Woolen Mill Store site: The Woolen Mill Store

Woolen Mill Store Instagram: @pendleton_wms

Pendleton Born in Oregon logo

Honoring Madeline Albright

Madeline Albright onstage at Portland's Arlene Schnitzer Center for the Performing arts, receiving a Pendleton Brave Star blanket

Looking back to a Proud Moment

America lost a pioneering presence when Madeline Albright passed away on March 23, 2022. Dr. Albright had a long career in public service, and was the first female secretary of state in US history. In addition to serving important roles under two presidents, she was the US ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997.

When she left the public sector, Dr. Albright was the Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Dr. Albright was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in May of 2012.

Pendleton’s Brave Star blanket was presented to Madeleine Albright on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, when Madame Secretary kicked off the Hatfield Lecture Series for the Oregon Historical Society. She spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium in Portland, Oregon.

Pendleton Brave Star wool blanket in red white and blue

BRAVE STAR

This contemporary interpretation of the American flag is a celebration of the patriotism of Native Americans. In 1875 Indian scouts carried messages from fort to fort in the West. Native American soldiers saw action with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Cuba. And soldiers from many tribes battled in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Iraq. Five Native Americans have been awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery “above and beyond the call of duty.” The design marries modern asymmetry and vintage Americana. The unique striations, using pulled out yarns, reflect an era when dyes were made from plants.

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