Faribault Vs. Pendleton Blankets: In-depth Differences

When it comes to premium wool blankets made right here in the USA, two names stand out above the rest – Faribault Woolen Mill Company and Pendleton Woolen Mills. Both companies trace their origins back over 100 years and still produce their iconic wool blankets in American mills using generations of expertise.

But which premium wool blanket is right for you?

A Brief Comparison Table

Year Founded18651863
LocationFaribault, MNPendleton, OR
Wool OriginUSA merino woolVarious global sources
ConstructionWorsted combed 100% woolVirgin wool blend
WeightVaries by blanket styleVaries by blanket style
SizesTwin, Queen, KingMany sizes available
DesignsClassics, seasonal, customVast library of designs

Pendleton and Faribault have many similarities – both use premium wool and quality construction for blankets known to last decades. But differences in wool sources, blanket weights, sizes, designs, and pricing set them apart. Read on as we dive deeper into a head-to-head comparison.

Comparing Wool Sources of Faribault And Pendleton

Faribault Mill Blanket
Faribault Mill Blanket

Faribault crafts their blankets using 100% USA wool, with much of it coming from Minnesota and other Upper Midwest states with a similar climate ideal for producing high-quality wool.

Faribault focuses specifically on fine merino wool fibers that lend softness, durability, breathability, and warmth without bulk.

In contrast, Pendleton sources wool from various global locales including Oregon, but must import some wool as well.

Most Pendleton blankets blend wool with other natural and synthetic fibers to reduce cost. The specific wool blend depends on the blanket style. Pendleton is less specific on wool grades used.

For shoppers wanting a premium all-wool blanket made start-to-finish in the USA from local wool, Faribault is the winner. But Pendleton offers a broader range of price points and wool blends to suit more budgets.

Comparing Blanket Weights: Light, Medium, and Heavy

Faribault and Pendleton both produce blankets across a range of weights from light summer-weight to extra heavy and mid-weight options ideal for layering. Faribault specifies exact ounces per square yard measurements so shoppers know precisely what they’re getting. Some top selling examples include:

Faribault Weights

  • Woolen Mill Series – 4 lb
  • Foot Soldier – 3 lb
  • Cavalry – 5 lb

Pendleton also produces blankets across a spectrum of weights but does not disclose exact specifications. Instead they categorize them by descriptive names indicating intended use:

Pendleton Weights

Pendleton Yosemite National Park Wool Blanket
  • Lightweight – Cottage, Traveler
  • Medium – Board Shirt, Fifth Avenue
  • Heavy – Durango, Chief Joseph

Without specific ounces per square yard details from Pendleton, it is hard to directly compare weights between brands.

Heavier Faribault options may be on par with medium Pendleton blankets.

When evaluating warmth and quality, Faribault’s precise weight measurements provide helpful guidance over the more general Pendleton categories.

Faribault Offers More Made in USA Size Options

One area where Faribault stands out is offering more size options still made in their American mills:

Faribault Sizes

  • Twin
  • Full/Queen
  • King
  • Floor Cocoon (oversized)

Meanwhile Pendleton focuses overseas production on some of its larger blanket sizes:

Pendleton Sizes

  • Crib
  • Twin
  • Full
  • Queen
  • King (imported)

For American made goods supporting local manufacturing jobs, Faribault provides leadership. They demonstrate ability to craft blankets domestically ranging from twin bedding all the way to extra large floor cocoons. Pendleton also covers small to large, but must offshore some of that production.

Comparing Blanket Designs and Patterns

Pendleton clearly leads when it comes to the breadth, depth, and sheer number of blanket patterns and designs produced since the late 1800s. They hold claim as “the creator of American Indian Trade blankets” and continue honoring native designs via partnerships with tribes maintaining input and earning licensing fees.

Beyond native-inspired blankets, Pendleton has also amassed a vast design catalog spanning solids, plaids, vibrant southwestern motifs, and more. They rotate seasonal offerings continuously updated across decades. With such a varied design library maintained over generations, they appeal to wider ranging preferences.

Pendleton Blankets
Pendleton Blankets

Faribault traditions trace to the Civil War era, producing wool blankets for American soldiers and eventually consumer households as well.

They also partner respectfully with native designers but on a more limited scale.

Faribault’s primary focus stays true to their heritage crafting timeless classics like plaids, stripes, and solids across their Woolen Mill Series.

For those desiring a more quintessentially American wool blanket without contemporary or southwestern motifs, Faribault delivers.

Between the two, Pendleton wins for volume and variety of ever-changing patterns. But Faribault iconizes enduring, heartland classics at the core of their offerings.

How Pricing Compares: More Choice from Pendleton

Blanket pricing often depends on size, weight, wool grade, and special patterns. Generalizing somewhat, Faribault positioning sits more premium. Mainline classics routinely sell $200 to $600 with some special editions exceeding that. Their niche focuses intensely on premium American wool.

The broader Pendleton line spans a wider gamut – prices range from value-minded imported options under $100 up to collectible USA-crafted designs hitting four figures. Thisgreater pricing scale allows pleasing both budget shoppers and connoisseurs seeking limited treasures made solely in American mills from the finest virgin wool.

Here again Pendleton satisfies a wider demographic. But for uncompromising USA-made quality not reliant on any imports, Faribault commands suitable pricing while remaining below the upper echelons Pendleton reaches for rare breeds pursuing collectibility.

Initial Verdict: Pendleton Wins on Design Breadth, Faribault on Wool Pedigree

Faribault Blankets
Faribault Blanket

Weighing all comparisons, if your priority is breadth of rotating patterns updated across decades, Pendleton is sure to please.

The expansive design library in production for over a century ensures something for everyone across generations and regions while also elevating native designers.

Wool blends additionally increase affordability for more budgets conscious consumers as well.

Alternatively for shoppers focused singularly on premium all-USA wool blankets, Faribault garners favor. Their ultra-specific merino wool cultivated in ideal Upper Midwest climates feeds directly into generations of experts crafting blankets solely made in America start-to-finish.

Faribault delivers heartland heritage, military traditions, and commitment to domestic manufacturing at appropriate pricing below luxury extremes.

Both legendary brands rightfully earned their renown through quality, craftsmanship, and celebrating textile traditions over the long run. Ultimately your preferences for wool specifics, sizing, pricing, and aesthetics will determine which flagship fits you best.

Faribault or Pendleton: Best Uses for Each

Both premium woolen mills clearly command merit to justify their longstanding success and revered statuses. Which option you select depends largely on the primary purpose:

Faribault Ideal For:

  • Passing down heirloom-quality bed blankets through generations
  • Keeping winter outdoor adventurers exceptionally warm and safeguarded
  • Savoring heartland heritage and military traditions
  • Supporting American manufacturing with 100% domestic materials and production

Pendleton Great For:

  • Christmas gifts, birthdays, and anniversaries due to extensive patterns pleasing wider preferences
  • Floor blankets catching eyes while warming homes affordably thanks to imported options
  • Blanket coats and capes turning bedspreads into statement outerwear pieces when relaxing or on-the-go
  • Fashionable accompanying southwest decor, motifs, and sensibilities

The iconic brands contrast but equally impress given their purpose. Appraise your personal priorities to decide if no-compromise Faribault wool or design diverse Pendleton patterns prove the better feature set for you.

With either choice you enjoy an enduring American legacy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why are Pendleton blankets so popular?

Pendleton blankets earned popularity over the past century plus for impressive design variety, affordable pricing scale, fashionable adaptability beyond bedding, appealing southwestern motifs, and heirloom quality when cared for – all reasons they became treasured gifts appreciated across generations.

Is Pendleton worth the money?

For imported Pendleton blankets using wool blends, prices below $100 represent fair value given quality surpassing expectations. Higher-end collectibles made domestically from rare wool and updated tribal patterns justify prices into the hundreds or thousands thanks to specialized materials, unique craftsmanship, and fair trade partnerships.

Is Pendleton a luxury brand?

Though not defined by extravagance or expenses alone qualifying luxury status, Pendleton’s underlying brand values of family legacy, celebrating craftsmanship, and community elevation through native partnerships make any blanket feel like a meaningful, conscientious investment beyond cost considerations.

Why are Pendleton blankets dry clean only?

Dry cleaning prevents shrinkage, maintains vibrant dyes, and limits pilling to extend a Pendleton blanket’s usable life to decades instead of a few seasons with home washing. The extra care preserves the quality and aesthetic originally warranting the blanket investment.

Final Thoughts: Two Flagship Brands Serving Distinct Shoppers

Faribault and Pendleton represent two quintessentially American heritage brands creating woolen mills synonymous with generational warmth, comfort through craft, and traditions still powering small town jobs.

Weigh your preferences across wool specificity, designs, sizes, pricing factors and intended uses to decide the best brand for your needs.

With quality driving both flagships, you’ll set yourself up warming homes and giving memorable gifts sure to be cherished for decades no matter which flagship you select.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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