Dating pendleton labels

01 Jul

They’re used for clothing, bedding, warmth, ceremonial dances and gifts for important occasions.

Exact dates of production are unknown, but 1915-1920 is likely. Pendleton Woolen Mills – Pendleton, Oregon – Their first Indian blanket rolled off the looms in 1896 and they’re still at it!

Hundreds of patterns have emerged from the Pendleton factory over the years including the enduring Harding and Chief Joseph patterns.

Capps blankets are often quite simple in design, but elegant in their simplicity. Joseph, Missouri – Buell made the most faithful copies of true Indian designs and stopped producing after 1911.

They were extremely well woven and highly collectible. Buells have always been extremely difficult to obtain.

Over the years Pendleton’s primary Indian blanket lines have been Pendleton, Beaver State, Cayuse and Blackfoot.

The latter two were budget labels and used remanufactured wool as opposed to the virgin wool used in the Pendleton and Beaver State lines.

The designs were based on the Oriental rugs popular in the eastern United States.

From that time forward the Navajo ceased making wearing blankets and wove only rugs for sale through the white traders.

Let’s begin at the beginning – what is an Indian trade blanket?

Indian trade blankets are commercially woven wool blankets with striking geometric patterns.

With the Navajos now exclusively weaving rugs, commercial woolen mill operators saw an opportunity to sell their machine-made blankets to the Indians and the result was Indians selling rugs to whites and whites selling Indian blankets to Native Americans – a practice that continues to this day.