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.
We create quality product that embody craftsmanship, enrich lives, and connect generations.
Pendleton: The Original Oregon Maker
When Thomas Kay left England in 1863, seeking new opportunities in the Oregon Territories, he brought a passion for innovation and exploration. His expertise in weaving led him to establish several mills in Oregon. The company he founded was expanded by his daughter Martha, and it continues today, six generations later. It remains a family-owned and managed business: Pendleton Woolen Mills. Our Northwest mills continue the tradition of quality, innovation and industry.
When the Pendleton Woolen Mill opened in 1909, the United States was home to over a thousand woolen mills. Today, Pendleton owns and runs two of the remaining three woolen mills in our country. Pendleton is the unbroken thread connecting Oregon’s heritage of pioneering vision with the future of vibrant creativity. Read more on our blog
Heritage From The Heart
Pendleton’s Jacquard blanket story goes back to the original trade blankets, which first rolled off the looms in a revitalized eastern Oregon town in 1909. The Pendleton blanket was a modern take on a staple of the trading posts and was immediately in demand across the west and southwest. The bright geometric patterns continue to inspire fans all around the world.
A Pendleton shirt begins life on family farms in Oregon and Washington that raise sheep for their fine, soft wool. Dyed, spun, and woven in the small town of Washougal, just a short distance from downtown Portland, the renowned Umatilla Wool fabric will end up as a treasured shirt passed along from one generation to the next. A Pendleton sweater begins as a simple garment, meant to keep the wearer warm.
Iconic design and high quality elevate our sweaters to a cherished place in our hearts and homes. Our sweaters bring new meaning to the idea of a classic. Pendleton Woolen Mills continues to enrich the lives of people around the world.
Commitment to Sustainability
At the heart of many Pendleton products is wool, Nature’s most sustainable fiber. Wool is only part of our sustainability story, as we work to leave the smallest possible footprint on our Earth through responsible sourcing and manufacturing.
Relationships With Wool Growers | Pendleton has long-term connections with wool ranchers across the USA, with some providing wool to Pendleton for nearly a century. Not only is much of our wool grown here, it’s also milled in Pendleton’s Oregon and Washington factories.
Water & Stain
Local Production | Pendleton blankets are made in two century-old mills in the Northwest. The jacquard-patterned fabrics and blankets are still woven in the original mill in Pendleton, Oregon. Located in the foothills of Oregon’s Blue Mountains, and home to the world-famous Pendleton Round-Up, this mill started weaving trade blankets in 1909. The mill in Washougal, Washington, which began weaving in 1912, is where you can see plaid and solid-colored fabrics woven. You will also see how the fibers are carded, spun, dyed, woven, washed, finished, and sewn into blankets. These mills have stood the test of time and are continually updated to meet or exceed all current standards of safety, productivity, and sustainability.
The Natural Sustainability of Pendleton Wool | Pendleton wool products are naturally sustainable due to the wonderful properties of wool itself. This unique fiber has the ability to insulate against moisture, cold, heat, and UV rays. Wool naturally resists odor and staining, so it can be laundered much less often than other fabrics.
Longevity | Pendleton patterns are designed to be timeless since our woolen products are built to last. Wool is one of nature’s most durable fibers; it can resist tearing and can bend more than 20,000 times without breaking. This is more than four times the durability of any other natural fiber.
Comfort | Because of the natural breathability of the fiber, wool is comfortable in many conditions, from indoors to outdoors, from hot to cold, from wet to dry. The ability to absorb moisture, and not feel wet to the touch, makes wool a superior choice for comfort. Studies have shown that sleeping under wool blankets helps to regulate your temperature and can lead to better quality sleep.
Safety | Wool is naturally fire resistant. The fiber will not burn, melt, or produce toxic fumes, so it is a superior choice for all home products. Wool also absorbs and holds airborne toxins, so it can improve interior air quality.
Care | Wool naturally resists odors and soiling. This means many more uses between cleanings. Wool blankets should be shaken out on a regular basis, and if possible aired out in sunlight once a year. Select Pendleton woolens can be machine washed and dried. All can be dry cleaned when needed.
Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® | A special collection of wool bedding products are certified by MDBC for sustainability. These products share the same high quality materials and production attributes of all our woolens, but have the additional certification that can assist with those seeking LEEDs certification for their homes. All the Eco-Wise Wool® products are made in the Washougal mill, and are certified as Biological Nutrients, since at the end of their long lifecycle they can be returned to the earth in composting and add nutrients to the soil.
In addition, many other Pendleton Home products are certified for sustainability.
Oeko-Tex Made in Green
Oeko-Tex Standard 100
Global Organic Textile Standard
MBDC Cradle to Cradle Certified
Forest Stewardship Council Certification
Pendleton and the National Parks
Pendleton blankets have been part of the national park experience for over a century, when the Glacier National Park Blanket was introduced in 1916. There are currently eight National Park Blankets, including Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Olympic, Acadia, Crater Lake, Yosemite and Zion.
Through the National Park Collection, Pendleton and our partners have raised over $900,000 for the National Park Foundation.
History & Projects
Pendleton and the Parks | James J. Hill, founder of the Great Northern Railroad, commissioned Pendleton Woolen Mills to create a blanket for the lodges of Glacier National Park. The Glacier National Park blanket debuted in 1916 and has been in production ever since. That same year, the National Park Service was founded to help manage and maintain the parks for future generations. For more than a century, the National Park Service has overseen growth to more than 400 areas covering 84 million acres. Millions of visitors from around the world visit these areas of beauty and history each year. Pendleton blankets have been a part of the national park experience for nearly a century. Each blanket inspired by these unspoiled landscapes bears an intricately woven label reflecting vintage souvenir window stickers given to visitors who motored to parks in their brand new automobiles, often with a Pendleton robe tucked over their knees. Just like the national parks, Pendleton products are made to be passed from generation to generation, gathering memories along the way. The distinctive stripes of the Park Blankets have their roots in the practice of weaving short stripes on the edge of trade blankets to indicate their worth in beaver pelts. Colors and variations of the original striped theme have been adapted to reflect distinguishing characteristics of each park and blanket in the collection. The colors of the blankets are inspired by the landscape of each park and by their distinctive features.
Projects | Through Pendleton’s National Parks Collection, Pendleton and our partners have raised over $800,000 to help with two preservation projects. Grand Canyon Train Depot Restoration The Grand Canyon Train Depot is a National Historic Landmark constructed in 1910, one of three remaining log railroad depots in America. It has served as one of the park’s “front doors” for over 100 years. The restoration project will ensure this iconic structure remains accessible and intact, preserving the history of the park. Many Glacier Hotel Helical Stairs Many Glacier, a beautiful Swiss-style lodge nestled in Glacier National Park, is often called the most photogenic of the great National Park Lodges. Pendleton’s contribution has supported the restoration of the historic lobby of the Many Glacier Hotel, including rebuilding the helical stairway.
Community and Connection
Pendleton is part of a connected community that only grows stronger through education, preservation, wellness, and care for America’s heroes. We are proud to give back through donations, contributions and philanthropic partnerships.
Philanthropic Partnerships include: American Indian College Fund, Fisher House Foundation, Native American Rehabilitation Association, Wildland Firefighter Foundation, Center for Southwest Studies and The National Park Foundation.
THE ART of the BLANKET
A Pendleton blanket is a work of art that inspires works of art in return. Existing artworks in many media, especially paintings, are translated into woven blankets. Blankets and blanket designs are featured in paintings, photographs, sculptures, and jewelry. Beauty inspires beauty in a process that is collaborative and unending.Each year, Pendleton is proud to work with some of the finest Native American artists to bring you new, inspired designs. Each artist brings their traditions and point of view to the design, which is then woven on the Jacquard looms in our Pendleton, Oregon mill. These gifted artists expand the tradition which began when the first blankets rolled off the looms in 1909.
Bunky Echo-Hawk, American Indian College Fund – Pathway
Bunky Echo-Hawk (Pawnee/Yakama) is a visual and performing artist with provocative, exuberant work exhibited in private collections, galleries and museums throughout the world. He has done design work for non-profit organizations and tribal communities, Vans, and more. He has been designing the Nike N7 collection since 2010. He has painted murals in various tribal communities, towns, and public places, and recently installed a mural in American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, the home of the Miami Heat. “My culture is infused in everything I create.”
See an interview with Bunky about the blanket here.
Tracie Jackson, American Indian College Fund – Nike N7 – 7 Generations
Tracie Jackson is a Diné artist and designer from Star Mountain in the Navajo Nation. She is a fourth generation artisan. Her family encouraged her to study the traditional art forms of her tribe, and with their support she became a painter, jeweler, beader, and graphic designer. She studied design at the University of Oregon and currently works in Portland, Oregon, designing for the Nike N7 program, her dream job since age 14. “I was taught to get an education and use it to help our Native community, which pushed me to become a designer for N7.”
Preston Singletary, American Indian College Fund – Raven and the Box of Knowledge
Preston Singletary is an internationally known glass artist who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. His great-grandparents were full-blooded Tlingit Indians. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage, translated into glass. His artworks are included in museum collections from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden.
Susana Santos, Legendary Collection – Rodeo Sisters
Apolonia Susana Santos (1954-2006) was a painter, serigrapher, sculptor, writer and activist of Tygh and Yakama ancestry. Her use of rich colors, textures and natural materials created dynamic landscapes with a deep narrative that illuminates historic and contemporary Indigenous life and memory. Susana’s artistic prowess and fearless activism were inextricable. She brought a unique, authentic vision to everything she created. Through her writings, public speaking, theater-style marches and art shows, Susana encouraged Native youth and children to always “Remember Who You Are.”
Deborah Jojola, Legendary Collection – Center of Creation
Debra Jojola is an artist of Pueblo of Isleta and Jemez Pueblo heritage. She is a potter, sculptor, curator, lecturer and master printmaker. She is self-taught in fresco. Debra’s work shows her strong commitment to reviving lost Isleta Pueblo art techniques, producing designs that use rare iconography used in basketry, ceremonial body painting, weaving and on kiva walls. The original fresco of “Center of Creation” won first place at the SWIA show. “We have a purpose beyond this life. Life is a spiral.”
Joe Toledo, Legendary Collection – In their Element
Joe Toledo is a native of Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico who currently lives in Tiffany, Colorado. He enjoys working in watercolor because it is “spontaneous and unpredictable.” Mr. Toledo mixes soft rainwater with his colors to reflect images from his Jemez Pueblo culture. His works are exhibited in collections in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Jim Yellowhawk, Legendary Collection – Buffalo Nation
Jim Yellowhawk grew up on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. He is an enrolled member of the Itazipco Band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, with Onodoga/Iroquois heritage through his mother. He graduated from Marion College, Indiana, and also studied at Columbus, Ohio School of Art and Design. He divides his time between the Black Hills of South Dakota and Golden Bay, New Zealand. His work encompasses many different media, including dance. “Traditional spirituality is woven into my daily life, work, practices and way of being.”
Roselyn Begay, Weavers Series Collection – Roselyn Begay
The Pendleton Weavers Series celebrates the artistry of contemporary weavers by interpreting their one-of-a-kind works into Pendleton blanket designs. Roselyn Begay is a Navajo/Dine weaver who lives near Chinle, Arizona. Roselyn has been weaving for over fifty years; some of her earliest memories are of watching her mother at her loom. Her work is available at trading posts and markets in Sedona, Teec Nos Pos, and Ganado.
Mary Henderson, Weavers Series Collection – Mary Henderson
Mary Henderson is a Navajo weaver from Sanostee, New Mexico. She is proud to carry on the traditions of her grandmother and mother, who taught Mary to weave when she was 12 years old. Mary has spent 43 years weaving with her mother, aunt, sister-in-law and cousin-sister, teaching and inspiring each other as they work. Her original weavings can be found at the Toadlena Trading Post in New Mexico.
Wendy Ponca, Weavers Series Collection – Morning Cradleboard
Wendy Ponca is an Osage fine artist. Inspired by her heritage, she creates designs that are tactical by intent, offering Nature’s protection through elements and symbolism. She brings skills in draping, tailoring, beadwork, jewelry, silk-screen printing, ribbon work, body and textile painting to her contemporary and traditional designs. Her work is in permanent museum collections and current exhibitions. “I do art for history’s sake. I want to preserve my traditional culture, while reflecting the signs of contemporary America.”