Pendleton Preservation Series

What is the Preservation Series?

These USA-made wool blankets are part of our Preservation Series, a unique collection that recreates historic weavings from across the Americas. Pendleton designers collaborate with museum curators and private collectors to select noteworthy work, establish provenance, and attribute historical textiles to the original weavers when possible. The descriptions of dyes, materials, sizes and age are drawn from curator notes on the original weavings. Each wool blanket is expertly dyed, woven and hand-finished in our American mills.

A portion of sales from each blanket helps fund Native American art and education programming and outreach at the Fort Lewis College Foundation and the Center for Southwest Studies.

Please note: many of the descriptions below refer to the curator notes on the original weavings. Pendleton’s versions are made of 82% wool/18% cotton, and are 64″ x 80″ unless otherwise noted.

PS01 – Early Navajo (Diné) Sarape, 1800-1850 

Pendleton Preservation Series blanket PS01 face (front).

This very early weaving contemporary with the Ute-style First Phase Chief blanket. This unusual early sarape combined the simple striped and terraced stepped design elements in use at the time without incorporating red bayeta yarns. Woven of indigo-dyed blue, indigo with vegetal-dyed green, and natural white hand-spun churro wool yarns.  The color scheme suggests a Rio Grande Valley influence. Based on an original weaving in The Durango Collection®  (DC-NC-43), Center of Southwest Studies Collection #2000:03007

Pendleton Preservation Series blanket PS01 reverse.

This design is the first in the Preservation Series to be offered as a bedding collection in multiple sizes. Choices are Twin (or robe), Queen, and King, with matching standard-sized shams offered as well. These blankets are completely made in the USA of virgin wool on a cotton warp.

See more information on the blanket here: PS01 

PS02 – Navajo (Diné) Child’s Blanket, 1870

Pendleton Preservation Series blanket PS02 face (front).

These weavings are referred to as child’s blankets because of their small size, complex patterning, and tight weave. This blanket is a wonderful example of the late Classic Period, and incorporates Spider Woman crosses in the design. The variation in the red color comes from red trade cloth that weavers unraveled and respun. Other colors are handspun gray and white wool and vegetal-and-indigo-dyed yarns. Based on an original weaving in The Durango Collection® (DC-NC-51), Center of Southwest Studies Collection #2000.03007

Pendleton Preservation Series blanket PS02 reverse.

Though the original weaving on which we’ve based this blanket is referred to as a “child-size blanket,” the Pendleton version is woven in our traditional robe size of 64″ x 80″. The crosses represent Spider Woman, a powerful teacher and benefactor in Navajo legends who taught the art of weaving to the Dine/Navajo people. Her traditional home is atop the Spider Rock formation in the Canyon de Chelly National Monument.

See more information on the blanket here: PS02 

PS03

Pendleton Preservation Series blanket PS03 face (front).

This unusual early striped Zuni blanket incorporates design elements found in Spanish-American weavings from the Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico. A combination of simple bands with central diamond and stepped designs was woven of handspun natural gray, dyed greens, indigo-dyed blue, plied commercial yarns, and red “Bayeta” wool. This design is based on an original weaving in The Durango Collection®, Center of Southwest Studies Collection.

Pendleton Preservation Series blanket PS03 reverse.

Bayeta is a red woolen flannel that has been raveled and respun. According to the Donald Ellis Museum website:

The term “bayeta” refers to bolts of machine-woven red flannel. Bayeta also refers to red yarns raveled from bolts of red flannel. By 1830, Navajo weavers were accomplished at dying handspun yarns with indigo but lacked the ability to dye handspun yarns with cochineal, which produced a deep red color in woolen yarns. The weavers’ only sources of red yarns were the yarns they raveled from bolts of red flannel imported either from England or Spain. Known among the Navajo and the Spanish as “baize” or “bayeta,” and among Anglo- Americans as “red stroud” or “red trade cloth,” red flannel was used for garment insulation by Anglo- American and Spanish-American settlers.

You can read more of that museum’s fascinating history of Bayeta yarn here: Donald Ellis Museum 

See more information on the blanket here: PS03 

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

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

2020 Blankets with Stories to Tell

New Blankets Have Arrived

This year will be one that generates many stories, and 2020 is not over yet. In this very unusual year, we will keep bringing you beautiful wool blankets that have their own stories to tell. Here are some of our favorites, along with their legends.

The Alamosa blanket by Pendleton - red, beige, blue

Alamosa

“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 is one of our most popular introductions this year. See it here: Alamosa

Juniper Mesa blanket by Pendleton - beige diamond designs

Juniper Mesa

Thanks to deep taproots, western junipers thrive where other trees fail, scattered across mesa tops in the deserts of the Southwest. Known for their twisting, mystical shapes and long life—some live over a thousand years—junipers produce aromatic berries used by Puebloans since ancient times as an herbal remedy. In this design, western junipers offer shade, sustenance and habitat to desert wildlife, shown as arrows that pass below, through and over branches.

This Nine Element blanket is a favorite among our design teams. See it here: Juniper Mesa

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

Saddle Mountain

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.

With its bold colors and quilt-inspired design, this blanket makes a strong statement. See it here: Saddle Mountain

Thunderbird-mountain-front

Thunderbird Mountain

The Menominee of Northern Wisconsin tell of a great mountain that floats in the western sky. Here dwell the Thunderbirds, messengers of the Sun and controllers of the weather. These magnificent flying creatures delight in battles, and compete to accomplish deeds of greatness and heroism. They cause the rain and hail storms that can save crops, or ruin them. Their valor holds back the Misikinubik, giant horned snakes that might overrun the earth if not for the Thunderbirds.

See it here: Thunderbird Mountain

This blanket celebrates ancient legends with striking geometry. And because this one has such a striking reverse, here is the other side of Thunderbird Mountain. Which side do you like more? Reversibility is one of the benefits of blankets woven on jacquard looms; one blanket, two looks.

Thunderbird-mountain-back

You can get more information and see the reverses of all these blankets at http://www.pendleton-usa.com.

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

Special Gifts for Special Grads – Pendleton Blankets

A young woman lays on her stomach on a Pendleton Olympic National park blanket, in a field of tall, dry grass. She is painting a watercolor.

Photo by Hannah Ward Art

Graduations and Journeys

Life is a journey, and a graduate is setting out on an entirely new path. A Pendleton blanket makes a perfect companion on that journey; warm, soft, with made-in-the-USA quality that will last for generations. Here are a few ideas for your new grad.

Park Series Blankets

Does your graduate love the great outdoors? Consider our National Park Series blankets. These striped patterns are some of our favorites, with colors that reflect the geography and flora of the parks for which they’re named. The blankets and throws have special patches, inspired by the window decals travelers were given at the gates of America’s earliest parks.

In a vintage photograph from the 1920s, a smiling woman in a Model T Ford points at her windshield to show off her National Park stickers.

The Glacier National Park blanket, by Pendleton. A white background with a stripe of black, yellow, red and green at each end.

Glacier Park, shown above, is a favorite. Size selection varies by style, but these blankets can come in twin, full, queen and a new throw size. See them here: Pendleton National Park Series blankets

For Those Who Serve

For the graduate who is entering the United States Marine Corps, nothing could say “congratulations” more than the new The Few, The Proud blanket. This special design is approved by the USMC.

Marines_Pendleton_blanket

The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor is the official emblem of the United States Marine Corps. Each element signifies the Marine Corps mission and legacy. The anchor reflects the naval tradition of the Marines as part of the Department of the Navy. The globe represents readiness to serve in any part of the world. The bald eagle, symbol of America, holds a ribbon in its beak that reads “Semper Fidelis,” or “Always Faithful,” a reference to the unending valor and loyalty of the Corps.

See this blanket here: The Few, The Proud

Off to the Dorms

For those headed to the dorms, a Pendleton Camp Blanket is a terrific choice.

Yakima_Camp_Beauty

This 100% wool blanket is inspired by the bedroll blankets found on the packs and saddles of trail riders and shepherds in the American west. At night, these blankets were unrolled for a night by the campfire, under the stars. Not a bad companion for a new grad’s journey!

A Yakima Camp blanket in heathered taupe, with bands of red, green and tan at each end. By Pendleton.

There are quite a few color and size options. See them here: Camp blankets

Also available in a throw size here: Camp Throws

For the Heroes at Home

Some graduates begin training as an EMT and/or firefighter as soon as they are done with high school. Firefighters are a special breed, who run into the buildings that most of us run out of. If you have a graduate who will be training for this profession, consider the Wildland Heroes blanket.

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.

See more information here: Wildland Heroes

A Favorite

And you can’t go wrong with an iconic pattern like the Chief Joseph design.

The Chief Joseph blanket in grey, turquoise, green, white, and orange,by Pendleton

It’s available in a color and size for everyone, including a special cherry pink that benefits N.A.R.A.’s Native women’s health program.

See all your options here: Chief Joseph Blankets

A Pendleton blanket is the gift of a lifetime. If you’re looking for a different type of gift, large or small, we have plenty of other suggestions at Pendleton-usa.com. And wherever your graduates are heading, we wish them well.

PWM_USA_label

 

 

Pendleton Fabric Expertise – A Story of Generations

A Century of Weaving

Pendleton textiles are renowned for their quality, beauty and craftsmanship. Where did we learn to make fabric like this? Our expertise is generational, earned over a century of weaving in America.

The Beginning

The company known today as Pendleton Woolen Mills actually had its genesis in one mill; the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in Salem, Oregon, founded by Thomas Kay, a master weaver from England.

A photo of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in Salem, Orebon. This 2.5 story building is red brick with rows of white-trimmed windows.

Thomas Kay brought extensive knowledge to his own mill, after a career that started in his childhood as a bobbin boy, and grew into management of large mills in the UK and the US before he finally opened his own. He specialized in fabrics for tailoring, and produced the first bolt of worsted wool west of the Mississippi.

The Next Generation

His daughter, Fannie Kay, became her father’s protégé in her teen years. She learned weaving and mill management at her father’s side. Fannie Kay became Fannie Bishop upon her marriage to Charles P. Bishop, a prominent Salem merchant. Their three sons opened the Pendleton Woolen Mill in Pendleton, Oregon, in 1909. That mill is still running today! The Kay/Bishop history extends through today’s Pendleton. The Bishop family still owns and operates Pendleton Woolen Mills. And Pendleton’s fabric expertise grows each year, as we challenge ourselves to do more with wool.

Today’s Mills

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.  Our facilities in Pendleton, Oregon, and Washougal, Washington, are two of the very few woolen mills still operating in North America.

Pendleton, Oregon

This photo is a vintage postcard image of the Pendleton, Oregon woolen mill. The building is grey brick, with rows of windows trimmed in white, and large front doors on the first, second and third floors at the front of the building.

The Pendleton, Oregon mill opened in 1909, taking over a defunct wool-scouring plant on the banks of the Columbia River and transforming it into a full mill under the direction of Clarence, Roy and Chauncey Bishop. The location had been scouted by Fannie Kay Bishop, who encouraged her sons to make use of the existing building, the nearby Columbia River, and the supply of high quality wool fleece available from local sheep ranchers.

The company’s original products were wool blankets for Native American customers. Today, the Pendleton mill is open for tours. Travelers can watch those world-famous blankets being woven on two-story looms.

Washougal, Washington

Our Washougal facility sits on the banks of the Columbia River at the entry to the scenic Columbia River Gorge. The Washougal community helped fund the startup of this mill in 1912, and it has been a major employer in this small Washington town ever since.

A vintage sepia-toned photo of the Washougal woolen mill owned by Pendleton Woolen Mills. The mill is two stories tall and in the photo, it is dwarfed by two water towers.

The additional mill gave Pendleton the ability to weave a wider variety of fabrics.

AirLoom Merino (found in our Sir Pendleton shirts) and Umatilla woolen fabric (found in so many of our flannel shirt styles) are both woven in Washougal, as well as fabrics for the women’s line.

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, and to learn about Pendleton’s weaving techniques, dyeing processes, and fabric finishing.

The Fabrics

Pendleton Woolen Mills has maintained the quality and craftsmanship of its textiles through decade upon decade of manufacturing in its own facilities. This allows us to maintain quality control from start to finish, from fleece to fashion. Our state-of-the-art computer dyeing technology controls water, dyes, heat, and more. Carding machines, looms and finishing processes are also computer-controlled, allowing for minute adjustments to guarantee uniformity of weave, weight and hand.

Eleven different Pendleton woolen fabrics in a line, showing the different weights and patterns woven on the Pendleton looms.

We can perfect it because we control it, and it shows in our fabrics. We will be exploring some of those special fabrics in the months to come. We hope you’ll follow along.

PWM_USA_label

Answering Questions about Pendleton

The original (and current) Pendleton WOolen Mill in Pendleton, Oregon.

Claims and Questions

Thanks to our friends who have brought some claims circulating on social media to our attention. We owe an enormous debt of respect and gratitude to the Native Americans and First Nations people who choose our blankets, and care deeply about this relationship. We understand that it’s important to speak the truth.

Our Mills

Pendleton’s mills are our pride and joy, and both are well over a century old. Keeping them updated is a priority and a challenge, but we think it’s worth it to keep weaving in the USA. Our mills are subject to inspections, and when problems are identified, we take immediate action to resolve them. We have earned third-party certification for sustainability (read more here), and our management is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.

Political Donations

We respect the right of current and former employees to make political donations to candidates they personally support. These donations are not endorsements by Pendleton.

Pattern Origins

Pendleton supports the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We make our blankets for Native Americans, but we don’t claim our products are made by them. Our company’s history is always part of our marketing and sales materials, and is available on our website.

Pendleton blanket patterns are developed by in-house designers. Some are based on historic designs created to serve the Native American market. Blanket stories, told on hangtags and on the website, credit the inspirations and traditions behind the patterns. We also commission Native American artists to create designs, and adapt existing artwork (usually paintings) into blankets. These artists are always compensated and credited by name for their work. You can learn more here: Native artists.

Pendleton is proud to support organizations that serve Native Americans, veterans and America’s National Parks. Our relationship with The American Indian College Fund spans more than twenty years, and our endowment to the College Fund provides scholarships for Native American students. Pendleton also makes annual donations to NARA (Native American Rehabilitation Center) to support outreach and health care for Native American women.

In 1909, Pendleton was one of many mills producing wool blankets for Native Americans. Now, over a hundred years later, we are the only mill still weaving wool blankets for Native Americans here in the USA. Native Americans were our first, and are still our most valued customers. Thanks to everyone who has written in support of our shared history and friendship.

We hope we have answered your questions, but if you have more concerns, please write to us at PendletonWM@penmills.com and we will respond. We are listening.

Pendleton logo label that shows a drawing of a bald eagle, and the words: "Pendleton since 1863 Highest Quality Made in the USA." This blanket is sewn onto all Pendleton's traditional wool blankets, which are still 00% made in the USA.

Pendleton Patriotic Blankets for 2018

Blankets that Celebrate

As an American company with strong roots in the West, Pendleton Woolen Mills weaves blankets with  meaning and beauty. Every blanket tells a story, and we have woven many blankets that celebrate American patriotism over the years, from the Grateful Nation  blanket that celebrates the contributions of our veterans, to retired blankets like Code Talker,  Chief Eagle and Home of the Brave.

Here are some beautiful blankets to help us remember our patriotic spirit this Independence Day. To see more information on the blankets below, click the blanket name, which will take you right to the website.

Bighorn

 

Bighorn

In 1825, the Bighorn River called famed mountain man Jim Bridger to build a raft of driftwood and ride it through the foaming rapids. Part of the river was dammed to create Bighorn Lake, but the spectacular canyon it carved remains, named for the Bighorn sheep that travel its rocky, treacherous paths. Located in Montana and Wyoming, about one third of the park unit is located on the Crow Indian Reservation. One quarter of the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range lies within the Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area.

Bighorn_Bed

 

Mountain Majesty

Mountain_Majesty

Inspired by Navajo hand weaving created in the Southwest in the early 20th century, this pattern incorporates symbols of hope, abundance and successful journeys. Muted colors and mountain-like steps evoke sunset over a western landscape.

Mountain majesty_bed

Brave Star

The Brave Star blanket  celebrates the patriotism of Native Americans who have defended our country in battles since the 19th century. The design, based on the American flag, marries modern asymmetry and vintage Americana. The unique striations reflect a time when dyes were made from plants.

To read more about Native American service members click here: Code Talkers

 

Grateful Nation

Grateful_Nation

The Grateful Nation blanket  honors the sacrifice of brave men and women who have defended freedom throughout the history of the United States of America. Each authentically colored stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts in which our country has engaged:

  • World War II Asiatic Pacific Campaign
  • World War II Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
  • Korean Service
  • US Vietnam Service
  • Southwest Asia Service (Gulf War)
  • War on Terrorism

For more on this blanket and veterans, click here: Grateful Nation

Read about the Fisher House Program: Fisher House and Pendleton

A young woman waves a Mountain Majesty

Photo by Travis Hallmark

So spread out your blanket and get ready for the fireworks!

What’s just right for throwing over your shoulders while watching the fireworks? Our Ashton Plaid Lambswool Throw in the Americana Plaid. Maybe you can sip a hot beverage out of the Grateful Nation Coffee Mug while you’re at it.

Americana_Plaid_Ashton

Happy Fourth of July!

Please note that everything pictured on this list is made in the USA.

 

Made in the USA label

What’s on the menu? Pendleton Blankets at Eugene’s Inn at the 5th.

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The Inn at the 5th

When you’re welcomed to the Inn at the 5th in Eugene, Oregon, expect something special. This boutique hotel is earning glowing reviews on Trip Advisor, thanks to its warm, modern decor and attention to every detail of hospitality and comfort.

The lobby of the Inn at the 5th in Eugene, Oregon

Pendleton Blanket Menu

One special detail is the Inn’s Pendleton blanket menu. Guests can let the staff know which of five Pendleton blankets best suit their style.

BLankets on the menu at the Inn at the 5th in Eugene, Oregon

The blanket is then hand-delivered with a note to the room’s butler’s pantry. If a guest wants to purchase a blanket, a discount card can be redeemed downstairs at the Pendleton boutique adjacent to the Inn.

Read more about the amenities here: Inn at the 5th

And of course, if you aren’t planning a trip to Eugene anytime soon, we have our own menu of beautiful blanket choices here: Pendleton Blankets

Five Generations in Pendleton Blankets

Five Generations

Today’s post is brought to you in honor of Native American Heritage Month. We received these photos from Sharon, and the words you read below are hers. We are honored to be part of this family’s traditions for five generations.

Five generations of Native American women wearing Pendleton blankets

Dear Pendleton;

“We are who we are because they were who they were”.

Since November is National American Indian Heritage Month, how fitting was it to take a picture of my daughter, Allie, in a beautiful Pendleton blanket. My parents have a picture of my Grandmother, Agnes, in a Pendleton blanket. I’ve always loved that picture and wanted to recreate it. Little did I know, my Mother, Christine, has a picture of her Grandmother, Ruth, in a Pendleton blanket. My mother and I decided to recreate the picture also.

Great-Grandmother Ruth

A painting of a Native American matriarch wearing a striped Pendleton blanket. Artist unknown.

 

Grandmother Agnes

A painting of a woman wearing a striped Pendleton blanket, holding a feather fan. Artist unknown.

 

Mother Christine

A Native American woman stands in the woods, wrapped in a striped Pendleton blanket.

 

Myself Sharon

A Native American woman with long, flowing hair stand

 

Daughter Allie

A young Native American woman with very long hair stands in a meadow

As you can see, we have worn Pendleton for generations. We are from the Otoe-Missouria tribe. Thank you for such quality and beautiful products.

A forever customer,

Sharon

Thank you, Sharon!

For those of you who are interested, Sharon and her daughter Allie are both wearing  Chief Joseph robes. This is our most popular pattern year-to-year, and has been in the line for over a century. Sharon has chosen to wear hers reverse-side out, which shows more bands of color, one of the beauties of weaving on a jacquard loom.

See them here: Chief Joseph blankets

Mother Christine, Grandmother Agnes and Great-Grandmother Ruth are all wearing serapes. Serapes are not napped, which allows the colors to shine. We have mostly woven serapes in ombred stripes over the years, as worn in the two paintings.  We are intrigued by the extra patterning in Christine’s blanket, and we would love to see that one laid flat!

See our serapes here: Serape blankets

5Generations