Pendleton is like the Chrysler of textile companies – almost wherever you look in the 20th century, you can find a colorful Pendleton wool blanket, shirt or jacket. It is the ultimate American company.
Pendleton Woolen Mills was founded in Pendleton, Oregon, in 1863, the only American mill dedicated specifically to producing Native American trading blankets. Native Americans in the West had always used woven, patterned blankets for shelter, warmth, ceremonial use, and as a kind of trading currency. When white settlers came along, the Native Americans came to favor European-style woolen blankets, especially if they had vivid colors.