Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pendleton Woolen Mills

 How many times have you heard:
Do you make blankets?
My mother made blankets just like that.

When I worked in the quilt shop I can't
tell you how many times I heard
quilts referred to as blankets.

Last week while I was traveling
I had the opportunity to experience
real blankets being made.
I stopped at the Pendleton  Woolen Mills
  in Pendleton, Oregon.

They have a short, but very informative
tour that allows you to see the 
process of raw wool to finished blanket.

Here is this delicious red wool being carded,

 twisted into yarn

and then it eventually gets
spun on to these wonderful wooden spools.

Those are then combined into
huge spools of beautiful color.

The next step is to
  weave the wool threads into blankets, especially,

into traditional Native American designs
with their intricate patterns and brilliant colors.

 Piles of woven yardage.

The good news is that there's a sale room!

These blankets are part of the Pendleton's celebration of
the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service
using their original striped themed designs
with colors that reflect each of the different parks
they represent.

The bad news was that
I really wanted one of each,
there were just too many choices
and I only had a carry-on bag for the
trip home.

Good news!  They ship!
Yesterday my box arrived.

I had settled on a gray woven plaid blanket and
a woven fringed throw.

More good news.  I know
which one I would get next time!

Side note: If you look up the comparison between 
a quilt and a blanket online, it's
evident that there's a lot of 
confused folks out there.

Until Next Time-


  1. Such an interesting post. It must have been fascinating to watch the process. Your blankets look deliciously soft!

  2. So fun to see how those beautiful blankets are made!
    Also wonderful to see an American made company that has been in business over 150 years and still going strong! The 2 blankets you chose are very pretty.

  3. Such a fun tour! Thanks for taking us along! LOVE your purchases! Did they sell any wool yardage?

    1. There were actually a few bolts of wool, which would be part of their clothing lines and some remnants from the blankets, but mostly from edge cuts. Although one of my friends bought a nice big piece of a red and black buffalo plaid. It had a slight flaw somewhere.

  4. What lovely eye candy. I do love Pendleton wool! Thanks for sharing and stay warm in your new "blankets"!

  5. I have learnt a lot with your great post ! Thank you !
    Many blankets are Indian style no ? I love them....

  6. Very interesting! I just roll my eyes when someone asks if I make blankets. I just say... sort of, but not really! LOL

  7. Recall taking the family through there on a vacation many moon ago!
    You chose well--beautiful BLANKETS. : )

  8. Thank you for sharing your tour of the Pendleton Mill - walking into their retail section and seeing all the colors and patterns must have been overwhelming! You made a lovely choice - it looks so soft and soothing. As weather dictates, I love wearing my Pendleton wool plaid jacket - it must be close to 20 years old and still looks great.

  9. Sadly my own kids call my quilts 'blankets' even though I correct them all the time.:) Love seeing those huge spools of thread!

  10. So interesting to see the process behind those beautiful blankets! I like the ones you chose :0)

  11. Beautiful wool blankets - you made wonderful choices! I love wool blankets and have several I cherish. Blankets... quilts? Hrmph :-)

  12. It use to frustrate me when people would call my quilts blankets. But then someone called them rugs! And that means floor rug to me...that was almost an insult, except this person had received a cot quilt for their baby and I wanted them to use it on the floor! At that point I got over it, so long as I can still piece and quilt I dont care what the non quilters call my work!

  13. What a great tour they gave you at the mill! It's so interesting to see the entire process from start to finish! I got to do something similar several years ago at a local place called Baron Woolen Mills, but sadly it has burned down now. I remember they wove some special edition blankets for the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002. Can't wait to hear what else you did on your trip!

  14. Lol!! You are so right about quilts being called blankets. I also hear people refer to them as tapestries.
    I loved seeing the tour through your photos. I've heard of the Pendleton Wollen Mills but it's wonderful to see inside. I loved the photo of the shop - all those colourful native indian designs are captivating.

  15. Thanks for posting such great photos! Looks like a great place to visit. I love those Pendleton blankets and actually own one that belonged to my great aunt and uncle. Hope you enjoy yours :)

  16. How interesting to see this woolen mill. My grandkids get mixed up and call my quilts 'blankets' too!

  17. How interesting to see this woolen mill. My grandkids get mixed up and call my quilts 'blankets' too!

  18. I hear that quilt/blanket confusion a lot too. And, it seems that Google Translate is often confused about it as well.

    But, I'm sure the temptation was unbearable at Pendleton! I have one of their blankets, which I cherish but don't use any more, thanks to my wool allergy. Maybe I should use it as inspiration for a quilt!

  19. Wonderful mill visit. Your selections are very pretty.

  20. what a fascinating tour. I love to watch mass production. The richness of the colors is wonderful.
    Your blanket is soft and lovely.