Pendleton Blankets and Their History
Pendleton blankets have become a standard throughout the world for wool blankets and fabrics. Pendleton Woolen Mills uses 100% Merino wool to fabricate it's wide array of blankets, clothing and fabrics. When you purchase a Pendleton blanket you are acquiring an item that will last a life time.
Origin of the Pendleton Woolen Mills
Thomas Kay who was an English weaver traveled to Oregon in 1863. Kay had already spent a stint working at weaving mills on the East coast but had earlier returned to England where he further honed his weaving expertise. The newly established state of Oregon was his destination because of the plentiful water and mild climate which made it ideal for raising sheep.
Arriving in Oregon his first job was helping to organize and run a mill in Brownsville Oregon. In time Thomas Kay became the superintendent of the mill and ran it until 1889. During 1889 he established his own mill in Salem and this became the foundation for a real American success story.
Fannie Kay, Thomas's eldest daughter, would soon help her father in the family business. As time went by she married a local merchant C.P. Bishop and his expertise in marketing and merchandising helped in the establishing what was to become Pendleton Woolen Mills.
Eventually the Bishops added three boys to their family. Fannie and her father taught them the ways of milling while C. P. on the other hand taught them about retailing. The boys were well equipped to open their first mill in Pendleton in 1909. This began the tradition of weaving "Indian" style blankets.
Pendleton blankets today are traded to Native peoples throughout the US and Canada and are used by them for primarily ceremonial purposes. The Pendleton blanket has become an integral part of their social customs.