I hope the book brings Pendleton’s fabrics to life for a new audience, as well as teaches readers how to work with all weights, patterns, and combinations of these beautiful wools.
—the first book written in collaboration with Pendleton Woolen Mills—includes more than two dozen projects to sew in their wool fabrics, as well as a history of the company illustrated through beautiful archival photographs. To prepare for writing the book, I spent three days researching in Pendleton’s vast company archives, which contain everything from their earliest trade blankets to their postmodern collaborations with the companies Vans and Opening Ceremony.
Trade blankets have long been an integral part of Native American culture.
They’re used for clothing, bedding, warmth, ceremonial dances and gifts for important occasions.
Indian trade blankets are commercially woven wool blankets with striking geometric patterns.Like many of the fashion styles and brands we have come to know, the Pendleton Company (most famously known for its' hallmark product the Pendleton Shirt) was to become famous because of the imagination of its' founders.Having their early history in the late 1800's making vibrant colored Indian blankets for the American Indian the Pendleton Company owners in the 1920's decided that there were more potential applications for using the "Umatilla" wool fabric they were weaving.Pendleton took their experience with multi-coloured blankets and warm, vibrant and durable wool and started making colourful flannel shirts. The wool Pendleton used in the 1920’s was from the sheep local to the wool mill.Taking it’s name form the area, they called the wool “Umatilla”.