June 09, 2009

A century of Pendleton blankets

Pendleton celebrates 100 years with ‘Weaving America’s Spirit Since 1909’Pendleton Woolen Mill’s bright woolen Native-designed blankets, prized for their quality and designs, had their beginnings in 1909 when the Bishop family rebuilt the original woolen mill in Pendleton, Ore., a major railhead town overlooking the grand Columbia River and Columbia Basalt Plateau, creating an enduring Native legacy. In honor of that anniversary, Pendleton is celebrating 100 years with “Weaving America’s Spirit Since 1909.”

Pendleton’s relationship with Native Americans goes back to “day one,” says Bob Christnacht, division manager for their home line. “Our original designer, Joe Rawnsley, lived with the Native Americans for six to nine months at a time. From his early design work we developed our most enduring designs.”
And:The colorful-yet-practical blankets are widely popular with Native Americans, who prize them for their ceremonial use, and incorporate them into daily life. Pendleton in turn considers Native Americans their original and most valued customers. “We recognize how important a part our blankets play in Native Americans’ lives,” Christnacht said. “They are very much a large part of this company. More than half our sales are to Native Americans.”Below:  "Since 1909 Pendleton Woolen Mills has been producing high-quality blankets that have become collectibles, tradition, memories and more for Natives and non-Natives. This year the company, seen here in 1909, is celebrating its 100th anniversary."


Ananda girl said...

I live in a town not far from here. The Pendleton blankets and other products are wonderful and the company is well known for being a fair employer and very community minded.

Have you ever done a post on the Pendleton Rodeo? I'd be interested in seeing it if you have.

Rob said...

No. I've done a couple of postings on the blankets, but none on the rodeo.