We’re back, and ready to show you around.
Pendleton is excited to announce that tours of our Washougal, Washington and Pendleton, Oregon mills are now open! These tours showcase the vertical operation that brings Pendleton’s iconic wool blankets and fabrics to life. “We are excited to be able to welcome guests into both of Pendleton’s mills again,” said Rolan Snider, vice president of textile manufacturing at Pendleton. “The mills offer an experience into the commitment, experience, quality and investment in technology that has given the brand its ‘Warranted to Be’ legacy.”
A Little PWM History
The Pendleton mill was originally built in 1893, and has been operating as Pendleton Woolen Mills since 1909. That is the year when Fanny Kay Bishop realized what an opportunity the idled facility held, and urged her three sons to buy and revive it. The Bishop Brothers restored and improved operations with the support of the Pendleton community.
The Pendleton mill has always specialized in traditional wool bed blankets. These are woven on jacquard looms to give our blankets curvilinear designs that are often different on front and back, for a reversible option. The company acquired the Washougal mill in 1912 to expand its range of fabrics, with specialized looms for plaids, herringbones, stripes, tweeds…all the weaves found in clothing textiles and plaid blankets.
In the early 1900s, the Pendleton mills were two of over 1,000 woolen mills operating in America’s 46 states. Today, they are two of the remaining four woolen mills in the United States. Both mills are continually updated for sustainability and innovation. Said VP Rolan Snyder, “Within each mill, the looms present a unique view into the craftsmanship behind how Pendleton fabrics are created.” The mill tour in Washougal, Washington walks guests through every step in the making of Pendleton wool blankets and fabric. This includes:
– Raw wool: sourced from local and global wool ranchers
– Dyeing: state-of-the-art dye color lab to ensure color control and matching
– Wool carding and spinning: turning wool into yarn
– Weaving on dobby looms: creates Pendleton’s famous plaids, stripes and solids
– Finishing touches: washing, hand inspection and boxing
The mill tour in Pendleton, Oregon offers guests an inside look into:
– Jacquard looms: state-of-the-art two-story looms weaving graphic and pictorial designs
– Wool spinning: turning wool into yarn
Come see us soon!
The Washougal Mill is located at 2 Pendleton Way, Washougal, Washington 98671. Tours are offered at the Washougal Mill on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 11a.m. and 1p.m.
The Pendleton Mill is located at 1307 SE Court Place, Pendleton, Oregon 97801. Tours are offered at the Pendleton Mill Monday through Friday at 11a.m. and 3p.m.
And if you can’t join us in person, here is a little mill tour for you: A Morning at the Washougal Mill.