The colors of Pendleton.
Pendleton Woolen Mills in Pendleton, Oregon
Photoreal blankets illustrate the company's heritage. On the left, Roy Bishop congratulating Native American rodeo champion Jackson Sundown at the 1916 Pendleton Round-Up.
This blanket features Esther Motanic, the Round-Up’s first American Indian queen. In the foreground, the wool as it's processed from raw to spun.
A Chief Joseph Blanket in the making, this is one of Pendelton's oldest on-going patterns.
A Serape blanket in the making.
Woven blankets ready for finishing.
The "warper." This weblike setup feeds the threads that run vertically through the looms.
Our tour guide Terry Widel.
Pendleton meets Opening Ceremony! On the far left are Mort Bishop III, the President of Pendleton, and his daughter Elizabeth.
Native American artifacts from C.M. Bishop's collection.
Carol & Humberto touring the Washougal Weaving Mill with mill manager Charlie Bishop.
The dye lab.
Freshly dyed wool.
The wovens in production.
BISHOPS, the Oregon retail store where this retail/textile narrative began.
An early collaboration, a pre-cursor to Opening Ceremony meets Pendleton.
Pendleton Round-Up 2010: Behind the Scenes at Pendleton Woolen Mills
To wrap up the series of posts covering OC's trip to Oregon for the 100th anniversary of the Pendleton Round-up, we take you on a tour of the heart of the action, Pendleton Woolen Mills!
I've been a fan of factory tours since Mr. Rogers treated my young eyes to "HOW PEOPLE MAKE CRAYONS." Having just wrapped our fourth season of Opening Ceremony meets Pendleton, it was especially fascinating to get a look behind the scenes of this legendary American manufacturer and OC partner.
Our team was treated to a tour of the Mills by director Terry Widel. Brands love to talk up their heritage, but this is the real deal - Pendleton has been weaving wool at this location for 101 years!
Accompanying us on our tour was Pendleton's current President, C. M. (Mort) Bishop III. The Bishop family has run the company for six generations. In 1909, Fannie Kay, the daughter of an Oregon woolen mill family, wed local retailer C.P. Bishop. It was from this marriage of manufacturing and merchandising expertise that Pendleton Woolen Mills was born!
Touring the mill, we saw the elements that make this American brand so unique: wool from local sheep, state-of-the-art dye technology, use of vibrant color, the long history of design and trade with Native Americans, and of course, the meticulous craftsmanship that comes from 100+ years of experience.
The Pendleton Mill specializes in the woven jacquards synonymous with the brand, while the Washougal Mill weaves the colorful flannel shirting, introduced in 1924 and classic ever since. Take a peak at the way things work and get a feel for the company's rich history in the Pacific Northwest!