The history of Pendleton Woolen Mills is made of exploration and innovation.
In 1863, British weaver Thomas Kay started his business when he arrived in Oregon. His specialty was the manufacture of Tweed clothing, flannel, and wool.
A former navigator, Kay crossed the Atlantic years earlier to work in textile mills on the East Coast of the United States. With his refined skills, he headed for a region with ideal conditions for sheep breeding and wool production.
A place with moderate weather and abundant water, America's newest state: Oregon. Kay helped organize Oregon's second wool spinning mill in Brownsville where he supervised the weaving operation.
In 1889, Thomas Kay opened his own mill in Salem, Oregon. From this humble beginning came an American success story tinged with wool.
In 1895, the factory was expanded and transformed into a woolly factory that made bedspreads and dresses for Amerindians. This venture failed and the plant stopped. In 1909, bishops reopened the factory and built a new and more efficient building with the help of a local mission.
In September of the same year, the first products were released from the new finishing department and the tradition of Pendleton Woolen Mills began.
A study of the colours and design preferences of local Amerindians and Southwestern Americans in America resulted in bright colours and complex patterns. Trade has spread from the Nez Perce Nation near Pendleton to the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni nations. Pendleton blankets were used as basic clothing and as value standards for Native American trade and credit.
They have also become very popular for ceremonies in national or national parks.
In 1900, the Bishops brothers, Kay's grandsons, launched the Pendleton Woolen Mills brand. They learned a lot from Kay and gained in expertise and manufacturing quality by weaving beautiful designs inspired by Native Americans.
Pendleton spreads its passion for designing quality products made from 100% pure virgin wool. Whether it is through the complex patterns of the covers inspired by Native American drawings and legends or in the softness of light and luxurious clothing. The company manufactures in its factories in the northwestern United States, and has been weaving wool for 104 years.
At the beginning of the 20th century, men's wool shirts were mainly utilitarian objects. With a dull design and colour, they were worn for warmth and comfort. protection against bad weather and external elements for those who worked outdoors.
Clarence Morton Bishop, wanted to develop a range of wool shirts with bright colours and elaborate patterns. The production of wool shirts was naturally done for the Pendleton factory, which already had all the necessary infrastructure to work with the material. Thus was born the legendary Pendleton virgin wool shirt in 1924.
From 1929 onwards, Pendleton developed a complete range that was carried by celebrities such as the Beach Boys. Which, for the anecdote, were called The Pendletons in their early career.
In 1972, Pendleton became a sportswear resource, introducing distinctive men's and women's clothing, with no wool and for all seasons.
They use several supports such as blankets, a classic at Pendleton, but also sweaters, shirts and towels. Pendleton has been a reference in quality and beauty for over 100 years. It is owned by a family that has been developing the brand for more than six generations.
Thus the unique history of Pendleton Woolen Mills continues to this day.
The American brand has also made a name for itself alongside the biggest names. The quality of its fabrics and the recognizable touch of its patterns have made it one of the most sought-after brands in terms of collaborations.
We still remember the collaboration with Nike. A range of customizable sneakers customizable with Pendleton fabrics. Thanks to its NikeID on-demand customization platform, Nike has been able to highlight a whole range of woolen fabrics adorned with the famous Pendleton motifs.
Some of the most significant collaborations include embroidered covers featuring Disney characters such as Mikey or yoga mats in collaboration with Yeti Yoga.
The most historical cobranding will certainly remain the products made with the famous Levi's or Dc Martens labels. A few years ago, a whole collection of Levi's denim jackets lined with Pendleton fabric delighted fans of both brands.
Whether you're talking about the quality of its fabrics, its legendary history or its outstanding collaborations, Pendleton has kept its place as a brand in the world of robust and useful heritage clothing.
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