You can see and feel the Pendleton passion for quality. See it in the intricate patterns of blankets inspired by Native American designs and legends.
~Pendleton Woolen Mills
The mill, originally built in 1893, began as a wool scouring plant, which washed the raw wool before shipping. Due to increased freight tariffs on the shipment of scoured wool, the business soon became unprofitable.
In 1895, the scouring plant was enlarged and converted into a woolen mill which made bed blankets and robes for Native Americans. This venture also failed and the mill went idle. In 1909, the Bishops reopened the facility and constructed a new, more efficient mill building with aid of a local bond issue. In September of that year, the first products emerged from the new finishing department and the tradition of Pendleton Woolen Mills began.
The production of Indian blankets resumed as the Bishops applied intuitive business concepts for quality products and distinctive styling. A study of the color and design preferences of local and Southwest Native Americans resulted in vivid colors and intricate patterns. Trade expanded from the Nez Perce nation near Pendleton to the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni nations. These Pendleton blankets were used as basic wearing apparel and as a standard of value for trading and credit among Native Americans. The blankets also became prized for ceremonial use.
Today (2014) Pendleton distributes their products all around the world and Prairie Edge is excited to be part of this old but still growing company. We strive to carry the very best and these products are examples of the very finest blankets offered.