I have to begin this with a disclaimer – I am a sucker for pretty textiles. If there was ever a hotel that fed on that weakness it is the Siki Hotel in Saint Louis. Charming, spotlessly clean, and chocked full of gorgeous Western African batik fabrics (on the beds, the chairs, the lamps, and the walls), this place is a textile lover’s dream. Add to that a romantic setting, bright courtyard, super friendly service, and great restaurant and you just know it has to be favorite find. Next time, I am staying for a week!
Those of you who can conjure up an image of the iconic late 1940’s plaid woolen ladies suit, have theperfect visual in your head for this post (if you can’t, see image on the right). That iconic suit represents over 100 years of history for the American company Pendleton. For the rest of you who have no idea who Pendleton is, that is ok too. They haven’t really been on the forefront of fashion lately, but they do continue to embrace their “Made in USA” advantage and to create high quality woolen products.
If you happen to find yourself in the Pacific Northwest and are looking for a great introduction to the American textile industry and the dyeing/spinning/weaving process for wool, a visit to one of Pendleton’s two mills (in Pendleton, OR or Washougal, WA) is a must. The tours are free and take you through the whole process from raw material to finished fabric and blankets. Of course we know that nothing in this world is free, so it is no surprise that after this one hour walking advertisement, you will be convinced that you need a new blanket or blazer. Hopefully you’ll also be persuaded to pay more attention to your labels. Seeing Americans at work creating a high quality and beautiful product, might just entice you to buy only one of those “Made in USA” t-shirts for $50, instead of the two “Made in China” versions for $25 each.