How to Thrift Cease for Vintage Pendleton Wool Textiles


Shopping thrift shops, flea markets and property gross sales might be overwhelming. With the sheer quantity of stuff, how have you learnt the place to start out? How do you see gems amid all of the junk?

As an expert reseller who has been combing by thrift shops for the higher a part of 30 years, I can assist. If you’re prepared to chop your purchasing time in half, rating greater bargains or stroll away with brag-worthy finds you’ll be able to flip for money, learn on.

From hard-to-find home items to resale money-makers, all the pieces featured in my “Thrift Shop Like a Pro” sequence qualifies as a BOLO (“be looking out” for) merchandise. When you discover it, purchase it!

Featured discover: Vintage Pendleton objects

Dating again to 1863 and based by weaver Thomas Kay, Pendleton Woolen Mills is predicated in Portland, Oregon. Throughout its lengthy historical past, the corporate has produced sensible woolen items that set the usual for craftsmanship and genuine American type. Generations later, Pendleton remains to be going sturdy — and nonetheless managed by descendants of Kay.

Made to final, classic Pendleton objects might be present in thrift retailers throughout the nation. The firm produces a variety of merchandise, however the commonest secondhand objects I discover embody:

  • Men’s shirts
  • Coats and jackets
  • Cardigan sweaters
  • Skirts and pantsuits
  • Blankets

And right here’s the perfect half: Almost all classic Pendleton is price cash.

Lucky cut price hunters can nonetheless discover shirts for $5.99, coats for $10, and as soon as in a terrific whereas, heavy wool blankets for $10 to $15.

Why purchase it?

If you’ve ever owned a Pendleton blanket or piece of clothes, you’ll be able to attest to its sturdiness. Items which can be nicely cared for can develop into heirlooms for generations.

And to its credit score, Pendleton has prevented trend fads. Shirts, coats and skirts are classically styled and look pretty much as good right now as after they have been first manufactured.

From an environmental perspective, shopping for classic Pendleton (or any wool garment) is a brilliant transfer. According to, wool is among the most sustainable sources of clothes. It’s pure, renewable, sturdy, compostable and doesn’t launch plastic microfibers when cleaned.

If you’re thrift searching for objects to resell for revenue, preserve a watch out for all issues Pendleton.

On eBay, this classic Mackinaw-style jacket bought for $200, and this early Native American-inspired blanket bought for $600. Prices are simply as sturdy on Etsy. This midcentury plaid pantsuit is listed for a warm-and-fuzzy $788.

What to search for

As with all textiles, situation is all the pieces. Since wool is weak to moth harm, verify every Pendleton piece fastidiously before you purchase. Hold the material as much as a window or shiny gentle; tiny moth holes are way more seen when backlit.

Thankfully for secondhand customers, Pendleton objects are exceptionally nicely marked.

Though the label has modified barely over time, most items function a shiny blue label with gold stitching or a white label with gold or brown stitching. The all-caps PENDLETON phrase mark is adopted by “PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS.”

Early labels additionally included the manufacturing location of Portland, Oregon, however some newer items are marked “Made in China.”

A couple of different particulars to maintain a watch out for:

  • Pearl snaps: Some Pendleton Western-style shirts function fake pearl snaps as a substitute of buttons. Shirts with snaps command barely increased resale costs.
  • Loop collar: Instead of the usual buttonhole and button, loop-collar shirts function a button and small cloth loop on the neck. Shirts with loop collars have been trendy within the Forties and ’50s and collectors favor them right now.
  • Size: Always double-check sizes of wool clothes. Many folks don’t comply with the care directions and inadvertently shrink wool clothes. These broken objects often find yourself in thrift shops. If a garment is marked as a dimension giant however seems to be extra like an extra-small, it’s most likely been washed and dried in a machine.
  • Color: Though I can’t help this declare scientifically, I’ve observed that sure plaid colour combos are extra well-liked than others. If you’re shopping for Pendleton objects to resell for revenue, concentrate on greens, blues, browns, and blacks. Plaids which can be predominantly purple don’t promote as nicely.

Pro tip: Condition issues, however don’t fear an excessive amount of in case you discover a moth-munched blanket. If there’s sufficient intact cloth to work with, it may be bought as upholstery materials to furnishings restorers.

For extra ideas like these, try my article “11 Secrets to Finding Quality Clothing at Thrift Shops.”

Disclosure: The info you learn right here is at all times goal. However, we generally obtain compensation whenever you click on hyperlinks inside our tales.


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