Pendleton Woolen Mills Celebrates a Century of Shirtmaking

A Milestone in Crafting Wool Shirts with Enduring Quality

PORTLAND, Ore., June 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Pendleton Woolen Mills is celebrating a Century of Shirtmaking, marking a centennial of community connections, partnerships with wool growers, and contributions to fashion through generations. The iconic Pacific Northwest lifestyle brand is kicking off the milestone with a limited-edition collection of shirts featuring plaids inspired by one of Pendleton’s original wool shirts produced in 1924.

“A ‘Century of Shirtmaking’ represents a celebration of enduring craftsmanship, and iconic patterns, that have defined Pendleton for over a hundred years,” said John Bishop, CEO and president at Pendleton. “We are especially proud of this milestone as it is rare in American manufacturing to have a century of non-stop production in two factories. The expertise of our designers and mill specialists, combined with the enthusiasm for wool shirts among Pendleton fans, has made this achievement possible. We are thrilled to share this moment with our customers.”

100 Years of Weaving and Connections:

Pendleton’s woolen mill in Pendleton, Oregon, opened its doors in 1909, initially focusing on weaving jacquard-patterned blankets. In 1912, Pendleton expanded its operations by acquiring a second mill in Washougal, Washington. By 1924, after fifteen years of blanket weaving success, Pendleton embarked on a new venture, creating the Pendleton wool shirt.

The mill’s expertise, strong relationships with local wool growers, and growing consumer interest were pivotal to the successful launch of Pendleton’s first shirt line in 1924. The introduction of rich colors and high-quality wool shirting material established Pendleton as a best-in-class brand, a designation that remains a century later.

Over the last century, Pendleton has developed a special connection with generations of customers and communities who share in their affinity for wool shirts. Pendleton shirts have been a part of California surf culture since the late 1950s, even before the Beach Boys sported Pendleton shirts on their early album covers. Outdoor enthusiasts appreciate Pendleton wool as nature’s original “performance” fiber. The lowrider community has embraced Pendleton for over seventy years as a wardrobe staple. The thrifting community values Pendleton shirts for timeless quality and generational connections. For decades, American workers have relied on Pendleton shirts for their rugged durability, versatility, and classic American style.

A ‘Century of Shirtmaking’ also celebrates Pendleton’s enduring relationships with wool growers across the United States, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Some of these partners have been supplying wool for Pendleton for four generations.

A documentary series entitled “Shirt Tales” will be released later this year to highlight the communities who have had a hand in Pendleton’s success over the last century. Each episode will share personal stories of how Pendleton shirts have enriched the lives of customers. The trailer is available to view here.

Limited-Edition Capsule Collection

To celebrate this milestone, Pendleton will release the Century of Shirtmaking capsule, featuring a collection of wool shirts with plaids inspired by an original Pendleton shirt from 1924 as well as an exclusive collection of shirts made entirely in the USA from 100% virgin wool.

“Having the opportunity to develop a fabric based on Pendleton’s first wool shirting from 100 years ago was an honor,” shared Aaron Buck, mill technical design manager at Pendleton. “I analyzed a swatch of the original pattern and translated it into our current construction. We evolved the pattern further by adding ombrés of color. It was important to everyone on our design teams that we pay homage to the details, quality, and craftsmanship that went into this fabric 100 years ago.”

The capsule including the 1924-inspired plaid and the USA-made collection launches throughout 2024, with the first items available late June with a follow-up release in September. The collection will be available on and at select Pendleton retail stores nationwide.

Pendleton Woolen Mills is a heritage, lifestyle brand and the leader in wool blankets, apparel and accessories, tracing its weaving roots in Oregon to 1863. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Pendleton weaves its iconic designs in two of America’s remaining woolen mills located in Pendleton, Oregon and Washougal, Washington. With six generations of family ownership, Pendleton is focused on their “Warranted to Be a Pendleton” legacy, creating quality lifestyle products with timeless classic styling. Pendleton products are available at Pendleton stores across the US, select retailers worldwide, and on

Press Contact: Caitlin Taylor[email protected]

SOURCE Pendleton Woolen Mills

Originally published at
Some images courtesy of