by John Russel Jones

Pendleton Woolen Mills, of Portland, Oregon, is happy to announce that it has resumed mill tours at its Washougal, Washington and Pendleton, Oregon mills. The tours show the entire vertical operation that brings iconic Pendleton wool blankets and fabrics to life. The tour in Washougal walks guests through every step in the making of Pendleton wool blankets and fabric, including:

  • Raw wool: sourced from local and global wool ranchers
  • Dyeing: state-of-the-art dye color lab to ensure color control and matching
  • Wool carding and spinning: turning wool into yarn
  • Weaving on dobby looms: creates Pendleton’s famous plaids, stripes and solids
  • Finishing touches: washing, hand inspection and boxing

The tour in Pendleton offers guests an inside look into jacquard looms, with its state-of-the-art two-story looms weaving graphic and pictorial design, as well as wool spinning.

Photo by Kyle Houck

The Pendleton mill was originally built in 1893 and has been operating as Pendleton Woolen Mills since 1909. The Washougal mill was acquired by Pendleton Woolen Mills in 1912. During this time, there were over 1,000 woolen mills operating in America’s 46 states. Today, Pendleton operates two of the remaining four woolen mills in the United States. Both mills are continually updated for sustainability and innovation.

“We are excited to be able to welcome guests into both of Pendleton’s mills again,” said Rolan Snider, vice president of textile manufacturing at Pendleton. “The mills offer an experience into the commitment, experience, quality, and investment in technology that has given the brand its “Warranted to Be” legacy. Within each mill, the looms present a unique view into the craftsmanship behind how Pendleton fabrics are created.”