Before wetsuits, 1950s-era California surfers layered Pendleton shirts and trunks over petroleum jelly to stay warm on the waves. On shore, surfers wore the same wool shirts over khakis, and a trend was born. The Pendleton Board Shirt–a favorite among surfers made famous then by the Beach Boys–remains our most popular men’s shirt today.
This weave takes its name from Oregon’s Umatilla County, home to the Pendleton mill and sheep ranchers who provide us with high-quality fleece. Perfect for outdoor and indoor wear, Pendleton Umatilla Woolen is machine washable.
In 1889, Thomas Kay opened his first mill in Salem, Oregon where his eldest daughter, Fannie, learned the textile business. When she married retail merchant C.P. Bishop, a complementary combination of merchandising and manufacturing expertise emerged - a solid foundation for what was to become Pendleton Woolen Mills. In 1895, the company’s woolen mill began making bed blankets and robes for the American Indigenous community. In September of that same year, the first products emerged from the new finishing department and the tradition of Pendleton Woolen Mills began.
Pendleton is founded on an intimate knowledge of the wool business – from fiber to fabric. Whether it’s a wool garment, wool fabric, or a wool blanket, Pendleton offers over 100 years of expertise, imagination and dedication to quality. As a world-leading, vertically integrated wool manufacturer, Pendleton uses sophisticated information systems to ensure a balanced flow of raw materials through production and on to finished products available at top retailers across the globe.
Pendleton raw wool is processed before it is made into fabric, which is then constructed and woven into home and fashion products, as well as apparel and accessories for men and women. Our direct relationships with sheep farmers, and vertical manufacturing gives Pendleton the advantage of monitoring every step of the production process to maintain quality and value throughout at each stage of production. Our wool buyers shop world markets, but most of Pendleton's wool still comes from the United States.