How to Thrift Stop for Vintage Pendleton Wool Textiles

Shopping thrift shops, flea markets and property gross sales might be overwhelming. With the sheer quantity of stuff, how are you aware 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 might help. If you’re prepared to chop your buying 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 goods to resale money-makers, every part featured in my “Thrift Shop Like a Pro” sequence qualifies as a BOLO (“be on the lookout” for) merchandise. When you discover it, purchase it!

Featured discover: classic 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 fashion. Generations later, Pendleton continues to be going robust — and nonetheless managed by descendants of Kay.

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

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

And right here’s one of the best half: Almost all classic Pendleton is value cash.

Lucky discount hunters can nonetheless discover shirts for $5.99, coats for $10 and, as soon as in an amazing 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 change into heirlooms for generations.

And to its credit score, Pendleton has averted vogue fads. Shirts, coats and skirts are classically styled and look pretty much as good immediately as once they have been first manufactured.

From an environmental perspective, shopping for classic Pendleton (or any wool garment) is a brilliant transfer. According to Treehugger.com, wool is without doubt one of 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, hold an eye fixed 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 robust on Etsy, the place this midcentury plaid, absolutely lined pantsuit is listed for a warm-and-fuzzy $788.

What to search for

As with all textiles, situation is every part. Since wool is susceptible to moth injury, test every Pendleton piece rigorously before you purchase. Hold the material as much as a window or brilliant mild; tiny moth holes are far more seen when backlit.

Thankfully for secondhand customers, Pendleton objects are exceptionally well-marked.

Though the label has modified barely over time, most items function a brilliant 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, however some newer items are marked “Made in China.”

A couple of different particulars to maintain an eye fixed out for:

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

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

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

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