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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Archive for November, 2012

Heading South for the Winter

Posted by leighann | November 30th, 2012 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Travel

embedded by Embedded Video

In case you’re like us and need a little reprieve from all the holiday hullabaloo, here’s a visual meditation that will bring you back to what truly matters. A few guys traveling the vast landscape of SouthAmerica put together this beautiful montage of pampas, windy horizons, distant cultures, and waterfalls. It’s not hard to see why vimeo chose it as their pick of the week. Now for that one-way ticket to Patagonia, please.


Pendleton: Good for the Earth (literally)

Posted by leighann | November 15th, 2012 | Filed under Partnerships, Sustainability, The Collective

Pendleton was a staple in the Northwest long before wool was considered cool and sustainability was a buzzword. For the past 150 years, our Eastern Oregon neighbors have been sourcing local wool and weaving jacquards and plaids into the American fabric landscape. This holiday season, as part of the Nau Collective, we’re honored to bring you their Cradle-to-Cradle certified Eco Wise blankets made in the same woolen mills the classic Pendletons have been made for over a century.

Here’s a little inside knowledge on their Eco Wise Collection, courtesy of our friends at Pendleton. 

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® passes strict standards of sustainability and stewardship. Sounds admirable, doesn’t it? But those lofty words would mean nothing at all if Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® products weren’t soft, richly colored and luxurious to touch.

There are many products out there claiming to be green. Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® has been Cradle to Cradle Certified© by MBDC, a respected product and process design firm dedicated to promoting sustainable production. If you’re curious, you can find out more here.  The best way to explain it? If you were to take a Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® blanket and bury it (but please don’t), it would leave the earth better, not worse, for the addition.

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® is an innovation in the Umatilla wool we’ve woven for over a century that uses nontoxic biodegradable dyes. Pendleton is known for the depth and intensity of our colors. Vegetable dyes are not as stable as chemical dyes, and the formula took some tinkering, especially the red spectrum. But with a great deal of trial and a reasonable amount of error, we produced Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® that we could guarantee for quality.—Pendleton

Riding Big: The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic

Posted by Guest | November 13th, 2012 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, surf

If you’re like us, you may have spent some time imagining what it feels like to ride a surfboard down the choppy face of a 30-foot wave. Hell, maybe you’ve done it and can tell us the tale. But for those of us who just dream about serious surfing, there’s something undeniably thrilling about knowing professional big wave surfers can conquer the unconquerable.

Some of the best big wave riders in the world may soon be arriving in our Oregon backyard if the weather gods cooperate. Until December 31, a surf competition called the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic is in a “holding period.” When forecasters predict swells of 30 feet or greater, competitors will have 72 hours to show up in Lincoln City, Oregon. They’ll arrive ready to ride.

Half a mile offshore, the Nelscott Reef produces legendary waves. For most of the eight years of the competition’s history, surfers were towed to the break by jet skis, but starting in 2008, some competitors chose to manually paddle to the waves so they could get the full drop, says event organizer John Forse.

That attitude mirrors the development of the sport. “Big wave surfing has evolved a lot. They [surfers] found out that even when they eat shit on a 40- or 50-foot wave, they could survive,” he says. “That was the biggest fear, handling the wipeout. So then they said, ‘Shit, let’s paddle it.’”

One of those big wave surfers, Dave Wassel, who competed at Nelscott in 2010 and spends his days life guarding on the North Shore of Oahu, said that while he was out catching the 40- and 50-foot waves on the reef, he saw a wave with a 70-foot face—the largest paddleable wave he’s ever seen.

This year, surfers will compete for a $10,000 purse and a chance to become the champion of the Big Wave World Tour, a series of five big wave competitions that includes the Nelscott Classic. Sign up for an email update about the start of the competition and find more info on their website.

Award-winning author and writer Lucy Burningham has been working as a journalist for the past twelve years. She covers travel, food, and craft beer for a variety of magazines, newspapers, and guidebooks.

Waxing Nostalgia: Vintage fabric, reinvented

Posted by leighann | November 6th, 2012 | Filed under Design, Design Eye, Sustainability, Who We Are

We never stopped loving traditional waxed cotton. But let’s be honest: there’s nothing sustainable about applying an oil-based wax to conventionally grown cotton. That’s why we made our own. This week in the Thought Kitchen, our textile guru, Jamie Bainbridge, and design maestro, Peter Kallen, give us an inside look at a new kind of wax job—one that’s beautiful, durable and doesn’t run on oil. 

OFF THE GRID: Alright, waxed organic cotton.  What’s the big deal?
JAMIE: We love natural fibers and the way they feel against the skin. With our roots in outdoor, why not look backwards to history and see what other waterproofing methods were used over time. And the method that is still most widely used today is waxed cotton. It comes out of British Millerain which has been around since 1880. I met with them and said, “We love waxed cotton, and how it fits, how it becomes like a good pair of jeans, but what we don’t like is how it has to be renewed or that it damages other things that it comes into contact with. So what can we do?” And they said, “Well, we have a new synthetic coating that has the same look and feel of wax, but it never needs renewing. It’s machine washable and water repellent.”  So we went and developed an organic cotton version using the same base fabric, and applied their finish.

OTG: Is there any difference when applying a synthetic coating to organic cotton versus cotton?
JAMIE: No. Once cotton goes through the process of ginning, cleaning and spinning, you couldn’t tell the difference between an organic or conventional fiber.

OTG: So is it a non-petroleum product?
JAMIE:  Well, there is a small petroleum component. But the lack of having to maintain the coating means it uses a very small amount of petroleum. And it’s a water-based coating rather than being a solvent-based coating.

OTG: So what came first: the chicken or the egg? the fabric or the design?
JAMIE: Well, we knew we wanted something in the coated natural fiber realm. We wanted that hand. And we wanted it to be very comfortable against the skin and very urban looking. And waxed organic cotton t has a very unique look.

OTG: Ok, let’s talk waxed organic cotton.
PETER: Jamie and I were wondering how can we make traditional waxed cotton better? So Jamie went off into her science lab came up with a cleaner, more durable method of waxed cotton. Then she came back to me with this great fabric that uses this polyurethane coating and has the merits and qualities that are important to us in sustainability, and it had a different sense about it to. It’s quieter, visually and aesthetically. But it also has a longer lifespan and is easier to use and work with. And it immediately spoke to me…..the RIFT jacket. Because it has these qualities of being almost leather-like.

OTG: And suede-like too.
PETER: Yeah, exactly. Because it has a cotton back to it and that kind of coated surface, like sueded-back, but the surface has a leather-like quality. So that spoke to this almost utilitarian, motorcycling jacket. And that’s how the life of the rift came to be. The styles and elements of that jacket, its articulation, its scales, how it fits, details, its finishing: it speaks to rugged and burley, yet refined. It’s a balance between these two words. It’s almost an opportunity to express an modern-day version of old-new-world technology and inspiration.

OTG: And the Wax On Blazer is a badass jacket.
PETER: Yeah, it just reeks of confidence and it speaks of that same kind of quality. There is nothing more beautiful than a hefty, canvasy piece that has more depth to it.

OTG: Does working and design with this fabric lend itself to certain styles?
PETER: Oh, most definitely. There are certain silhouettes that you explore using this fabric. It holds form really well. It holds needle and stitch really well. You have to be careful about how you apply that because it can quickly become too stiff and unapproachable. More like a tent as opposed to a jacket.

OTG: I don’t want to look like a tent.
PETER: Or a tarp, or any of the words associated with canvas But we said, let’s use that structure and create something that is beautiful, with enough needle in it to give it that edge and that la femme nikita presence, but is still super sexy. It’s a beautiful mash-up.

OTG: So do you have plans of using this fabric moving forward.
PETER: Oh definitely. Now we need to push its boundaries. It’s a perfect fabric that has a lovely reference to yesterday with the technology of today.