The Pendleton Woolen Mills has been owned and operated by the same family since 1909. As of 2022, the Portland-based company bought wool from about 170 sheep farms around the world, which it transforms into blankets, rugs and apparel. It operates a pair of mills in the Pacific Northwest, one in Washougal, Wash., and the other in Pendleton.
Built in 1893, the Pendleton mill has operated under the company name since 1909. Pendleton acquired the Washougal mill in 1912. As of 2022, the two mills represented half of all woolen mills still operating in the United States. The Pendleton mill specializes in the production of traditional wool blankets, which are woven on jacquard looms. These blankets often have different patterns on the front and back. The company bought the Washougal mill to expand its range of fabrics with looms for plaids, stripes and other weaves found in clothing and plaid blankets. Pendleton conducts regular public tours of both mills. Watch a video here.
Pendleton has forged many partnerships during its long history. More than a century ago, for example, the founder of the Great Northern Railroad commissioned the company to create a blanket for Glacier National Park’s lodges. And in 1990, Pendleton began a partnership with the American Indian College Fund, establishing an endowed scholarship funded through the sale of designated products.