It’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it? We’ve practiced self-reliance like never before, while quarantining, working from home, expanding our hobbies and creative pursuits, and dreaming of better days to come.
Despite all this solitude, our bonds with family and friends have become more important than ever. We’ve formed tight pods, when we can. We’ve gotten creative with drive-past birthday parades, livestreamed weddings, and ZOOM happy hours. We’re spending time with our pets like never before. Our new four-legged home-office mates are being spoiled by all this human companionship.
We’re spending as much time as we can outdoors, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. We’re sharing picnics at parks and sitting at outside dining tables in all kinds of weather (hint: bring your Pendleton blanket). We’re taking distanced walks and hikes, sharing long conversations through our masks, and reaffirming our bonds.
We want to thank you all for how you’re showing up, and how you’re staying in, how you’re taking care. And thanks to the brand ambassador photographers who share their beautiful Pendleton moments. We hope you enjoy their work in the clip above.
We are pleased to unveil the newest Pendleton blanket for the American Indian College Fund. The Water saddle blanket, a special limited edition, features in “The Path,” a public service announcement directed by legendary director Joe Pytka in collaboration with Wieden+Kennedy, featuring music by A Tribe Called Red.
More about “The Path”
Pendleton was proud to participate by weaving a 290 yard-long “Water” blanket, used in the film to illustrates the varied paths of Native scholars travel on their way to a brighter future. After the film was finished, we refashioned it into 133 limited edition, saddle-style blankets, each 60” x 32”.
How You Can Help
Indigenous people are not just a part of history, they are the future. Right now, 42% of American Indians are 24 years old or younger. With your support, we can help the next generation of indigenous leaders forge their own unique paths to a brighter future and stronger communities through the guidance and scholarships provided by The College Fund. This blanket is one way you can help.
Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day, 2018. It is a day to remember the beauty and fragility of the planet we call home.
The observance of Earth Day came from gathering national support for environmental issues. In 1970, San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson both asked Americans to join in a grassroots demonstration in support of the planet. Millions of people participated. Today, Earth Day is widely observed as a time to plant trees, clean up litter, and enjoy nature by getting out in it, through hiking, walking, gardening, or joining the many public observances held on April 22nd.
Gift of the Earth Blanket
This Earth Day, you can celebrate for a cause with theGIft of the Earth blanket: Gift of the Earth
Gift of the Earth features a bold design on a neutral backdrop is inspired by the traditional Hopi potters, who draw from generations of knowledge to create their beautiful, unique works of art. Their work, and this design, pay testament to the practice of learning from the past while moving into the future.
“Gift of the Earth” is part of a collection of blankets designed specifically for the American Indian College Fund, many of them designed by Native artists. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of College Fund blankets provides scholarships for Native students to attend tribal colleges and universities. The College Fund has been the nation’s largest philanthropic effort supporting Native American higher education for more than 25 years.
To help celebrate the centennial year of the National Park Serivce, Pendleton sent out a call for national park memories to our Pendleton employees. We received so many fun responses–memories and photos and close encounters of the wildlife kind. We’ve shared many with you, and have a few more to share as the year rolls along.
This response came in the form of a stack of black and white photos taken with a Kodak Brownie camera. And so, a sweet little movie was born. Thanks to Margaret for sharing this with us, and thanks to you all for sharing the fun.
And happy official 100th birthday to the National Park Service–it’s today!
Nearly every day, we hear from people who have toured our mills in Washougal, Washington, and Pendleton, Oregon. They are impressed by the complexity of the process and the unrelenting noise of a working woolen mill. We are (of course) proud to show off our state-of-the-art mills. That’s why we’re always throwing open our doors to the public. We are working constantly to meet the demand for our fabrics and our weaving capabilities.
Our mill in Pendleton gets quite a bit of press attention, but you can read a detailed history of the Washougal Mill by clicking here: An Anniversary Celebration. But if the Pacific Northwest is not your neighborhood, we offer this virtual tour, filmed at both our mills. We wanted to offer a detailed look at just what it takes to weave a blanket from fleece to finish.
We are Pendleton Woolen Mills, and wool is what we do. Just watch and listen to Cameron Krebs, a wool grower from Umatilla County, talking about his family’s generations as wool providers to Pendleton Woolen Mills.
Properties of Wool
So here are some amazing wool facts for you, courtesy of us, from our trusty “Wool, A Natural” booklet, a little classroom staple for many years now.
Wool is a Miracle Fiber that Stands the Test of Time
Wool is a natural fiber, growing from the follicles of sheep. In a time of sustainability and environmental consciousness, this renewable resource remains longer-lasting and better looking than anything man-made. Even though advanced processing methods have made wool more versatile and easy care, man has not improved the miracle fiber itself.
Wool is Naturally Resilient and Wrinkle Resistant
This is due to the ability of the fiber to spring back into shape after bending, creasing, or compression. Resilience gives wool its ability to hold a shape, resist wrinkles and withstand wear. This makes wool great for travel. It resists tearing because it’s flexible. Wool can bend back on itself 20,000 times without breaking (cotton only 3200 times before breaking/silk 1800 times/rayon only 75 times). Wool can be stretched or twisted and its cells return to their original position.
Wool is Naturally Comfortable
Wool fibers cannot be packed down. They spring back to shape keeping their open, porous nature. Wool provides the most warmth with the least weight. The air that is trapped inside (about 80% of wool fabric volume) makes wool an excellent insulator to keep the body at its normal temperature year round: warm in winter and cool in summer. Wool is the original outdoor “performance” fiber.
Wool is Naturally Water and Stain Repellent
Wool repels light water, like a rain shower, because of the membrane on the outer scales. In very wet conditions, wool absorbs up to 30% of its own weight without feeling damp. And because of insulation ability, wool “breathes,” allowing the body’s natural moisture to pass through. The hairy surface of wool and its freedom from static make it the easiest of all fabrics to keep clean or to clean after soiling.
Wool Maintains its Luster and Resists Fading
Wool has a permanent natural luster it never loses even after years of hard wear. It absorbs dyes until it is completely saturated so colors stay brilliant in spite of sunshine, perspiration and impurities in the atmosphere. No other fiber can be spun or woven into such a variety of weights, textures, finishes and colors.
Wool is Naturally Flame Retardant
Unless it is in direct contact with flame, wool will extinguish itself. The denser the weave and the greater the fabric weight, the less likely it is even to char because of its smaller oxygen content. Fire departments and insurance companies recommend the use of wool blankets, rugs or coats to put out flames.
We will be bringing you more fun facts about wool this month, because January is an excellent month for keeping warm. And thanks to the Krebs family for their participation in this video!