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PORTLAND, Ore. — Pendleton Woolen Mills launched its Weaving America’s Spirit Since 1909 celebration today at the site of its original mill in Pendleton, Ore. To honor this first century milestone, the company hosted a rededication at the mill and announced its year-long planned celebrations and the launch of commemorative apparel and home collections for Fall 2009.
In addition, the company added to its Heritage Collection in the mill’s own exhibit to honor CMB Jr. (4th generation family member). It features his personal collection of authentic American Indian artifacts. For the centennial year the exhibit will now feature three rare antique blankets on loan from Mark Pigott, PACCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Pendleton’s introductions for fall 2009 include its Centennial Collection, featuring contemporary interpretations of iconic street wear for men and women. Also featured are new items honoring legendary figures in Pendleton’s history, the Jackson Sundown Western shirt and the Roy Bishop fringed leather jacket.*
Additionally, a collection of apparel and home products use the special “Spirit of the Peoples” pattern created for the anniversary, including a commemorative Indian Trade Blanket. Featured in the womenswear collection are several jacquard coats, new skirt designs, and a suede fringed shawl as well as accessory bags and boots.
The menswear collection features jacquard outerwear as well as iconic designs such as the Harding Crew Shetland sweaters and outerwear.
The company will also release a special Holiday 2009 collection by NBC’s Today Show Animal Welfare Reporter Jill Rappaport. Her new Pendleton by Jill Rappaport Collection of coats, status bags, and dog products were designed using three antique Indian trade blanket designs. Proceeds will benefit the American Indian College Fund and the Jack & Jill Foundation, an affiliation with Tails of Home for educating pet owners on medical advancements.
An admirer and collector of vintage Navajo and Pendleton Indian blankets, Rappaport said, “Pendleton jacquards are all throughout my home. I wanted to work these wonderful patterns into a collection with fresh appeal for women everywhere, not just women like me who love Western style.”
Reflecting on the history, Pendleton President Mort Bishop III said at the Pendleton Mill event, “This is a time of both reflection of the many stories, successes and challenges over the decades, as well as our Pacific Northwest company’s influence on American fashion and home products. It is also a time to look ahead as we enter a new century for our company. Wherever I go, I hear wonderful Pendleton stories. Our challenge in the sixth generation is to engage a new generation of consumers. We can only do this if we remain true to the values and principles that have made the Pendleton lifestyle synonymous with quality.”
He concluded with, “We are positioned well for the next 100 years and look forward to continuing to design and weave not only the American icon and treasure — the Indian trade blanket — but our full collection of Pendleton womenswear, menswear and home products.”
Pendleton’s commemorative collections will be sold at specialty stores, department stores and through Pendleton retail stores, catalog and online stores beginning July 2009.
About Pendleton Woolen Mills
Pendleton Woolen Mills proudly celebrates 100 Years of Weaving America’s Spirit in 2009. Pendleton products, including womenswear, menswear and home collections, are available at select department and specialty stores, and more than 70 Pendleton retail stores nationwide. Pendleton merchandise is also available at the company’s web site (www.pendleton-usa.com/), in Pendleton’s seasonal catalogs, or toll free at 1-800-649-1512.
Pendleton Weaving History:
Since the Bishop family (now in its sixth generation of managing Pendleton Woolen Mills) opened the woolen mill in Pendleton, Oregon in February 16, 1909, the company has woven hundreds of thousands of Indian trade blankets, most of which were purchased by American Indians. The Bishop family and the town of Pendleton came together to build a new mill, which still exists today, weaving Pendleton jacquard fabric for Indian Trade Blankets.
Three years after the Pendleton mill opened, the Bishops purchased a facility in Washougal, Washington and began to make apparel fabric.
In 1924, Pendleton introduced the world to the first colorful solid and plaid wool men’s shirts, launching the menswear line. As popularity grew for the shirts, women began seeking Pendleton products and in 1949 the company launched a womenswear line. It began with the iconic 49’er Jacket, still a popular item in the company’s annual fall collections.
Today, Pendleton is one of a handful of American companies still weaving fabric at their own USA mills. They focus on legendary craftsmanship and world class innovation for the specialty woolens that comprise their home and apparel collections. All Pendleton items are woven with care and quality and carry the iconic label “Warranted To Be A Pendleton.”
* Jackson Sundown (1863-December 18, 1923), born Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn, was a Native American rodeo rider who has become a folk-hero for his mythic performance in the 1916 Pendleton Round-Up, largely popularized by Ken Kesey’s novel The Last Go ‘Round. He was born in 1863 in the Wallowa Band of the Nez Perce tribe.
Roy Bishop was born in 1881, the son of Salem retailer C. P. Bishop and Fannie Kay. He, along with brothers, Clarence and Chauncey, opened Pendleton Woolen Mills in Pendleton, Oregon in 1909. The mill specializes in blankets of native American design.