The Making Of A Pendleton
Unlike most apparel manufacturers, Pendleton is a vertically integrated company. This means that Pendleton performs the myriad steps of the manufacturing process for many of its products. Raw wool is processed and made into fabric; the fabric is constructed into home and fashion products for men and women; which are sold in specialty and department stores, Pendleton shops and catalog/internet. Vertical manufacturing gives Pendleton the advantage of monitoring every step of the production process to maintain quality and value through close attention to detail and high efficiency.
The Pendleton corporate offices in Portland, Oregon, form the headquarters for company operations. These offices provide a base for company management and house product development and many company support departments.
Sales and Marketing
Pendleton employs a national sales force to market its major product divisions. The sales representatives work with accounts in territories across the country, while maintaining close communication with management at company headquarters. By developing comprehensive advertising, marketing and public relations programs for each season, communication supports the sales effort, promotes accounts and builds consumer awareness.
Successful product development depends on a fine balance between creative, marketing and production components - a triad of skills that have been Pendleton hallmarks since the beginning. At Pendleton headquarters, product development is based on a team approach. Merchandisers, fabric and fashion designers, pattern makers and product engineers work together to develop new products. Incorporated into this development process is a fabric and garment testing program that ensures the continued quality of Pendleton products.
THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
Pendleton's vertical operation begins with the planning process. The next step is the purchase of raw wool. Pendleton wool buyers shop world markets, but most of Pendleton's wool still comes from the United States. Variety, quality and quantity of wool fibers are essential to produce fine Pendleton woolens.
The Fabric Materializes
Next comes the production of fabric. Pendleton owns and operates weaving mills in Oregon and Washington. While noted for apparel fabrics, Pendleton mills also produce a variety of fabrics for upholstery and home furnishings. Fabric production includes many steps: dyeing, carding, spinning, weaving and finishing. Pendleton's state-of-the-art dye technology features computer-controlled systems for water, dyes, heat and flow pressures, ensuring exact duplication of colors. The carding process combs and aligns fibers in preparation for spinning. During spinning, strands of fibers are extended and twisted to form yarns. Then, high speed looms interlace the yarns into woven cloth. Due to the unique felting property of wool, this woven cloth goes through a fulling process that uses controlled shrinkage to produce a softer, more compact fabric. The material also passes through other finishing procedures such as washing, shearing, pressing, napping and inspection before production is complete. Near the end of the production cycle, blanket fabrics are cut and finished as authentic Pendleton blankets and readied for distribution and sale. Fashion fabrics are sent to garment plants for apparel production. Pendleton also markets its piece goods through retail fabric stores.
All Sewn Up
Pendleton is well known for its tailoring expertise, constructing sportswear, outerwear and western wear in a wide range of styles and fabrications. Garment plants are located throughout the world, the United States and in Pendleton facilities in Nebraska. Apparel production requires pattern grading (the sizing of patterns) marker making (pattern layout), cutting, fusing, sewing and pressing. Although traditionally labor intensive, today many of these processes are electronically controlled or assisted. This technology helps Pendleton gain efficiencies and produce consistent quality. Consumers can rely on uniform sizing, construction and attention to detail in their Pendleton garments.
Timing is Everything
For a vertical operation to be effective, a smooth and timely flow of goods from one step to the next is essential. That's why Pendleton uses sophisticated information systems to ensure a balanced flow of raw materials through production and on to finished products. Once finished, Pendleton products are coordinated at distribution centers to await a carefully programmed release to the market place. Pendleton's network includes a company-owned fleet of trucks and three distribution centers in Oregon and Nebraska.
The Retail Link
The retail division is the final link to the consumer in a vertical operation. Pendleton products are distributed through better department stores, specialty shops, 75 private and company owned Pendleton stores, seasonal Pendleton catalogs and online.