A Lesson in Making a Pendleton Blanket

Did you know that about 50 percent of the weight off a sheep's back comes from dirt, sweat salts, oil, and grease? Neither did we. But if you work in woolens, this is basic training. Thanks to a start-to-finish account of the lengthy process that goes into preparing and weaving a classic Pendleton blanket, we now know that fact, in addition to other fascinating gems—like, despite the six-week manufacturing schedule, only 15 minutes goes into the actual weaving of a blanket. The rest of that time is devoted to cleaning, blending and dyeing the wool before it's spun into yarn.

In addition to sharing Pendleton's production process with the gang at Opening Ceremony, fifth-generation owner Charles B. Bishop offered up a fascinating history lesson on the heritage brand and its identifiably-patterned woolens. Besides just being inspired by the local Native American culture surrounding the Pendleton, Oregon-based mill, Bishop discusses the important and close relationship that the company has with the Native American community. "They are one of our first and most important customers," he adds.

You gotta hand it to Opening Ceremony. Not only has the retailer cultivated a loyal fan base consisting of some of New York's best-dressed cool kids, but they also support the brands they carry in ways that go above and beyond promotional partnerships. By casting a light on the people, histories, and production methods behind their hipper-than-hip wares, they're dressing and schooling their customers at the same time (that said, maybe if our history teachers had shown up wearing OC togs, we would have paid more attention in class).

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