NOTE: I originally posted this in the fall of 2007, but decided to repost it because so many of you admired the print. So here are some close-up photos, and a little more about Swirl.
I’ve been a fan of the Swirl dress for a very long time – ever since I discovered that they were made in a little South Carolina town about an hour’s drive from me. But I don’t collect them. For several years I’ve been looking for the ONE PERFECT SWIRL to add to my collection, not an easy task considering that my collection is very much travel and sportswear oriented, not exactly a grouping where a lowly housedress would feel comfortable!
But when my friend Carrie of Glad Rags and Curios at Ruby Lane posted pictures of this one at VFG, I knew my search was over. Could there be a better dress for a late 1950s road trip? I don’t think so!
Part of the reason I particularily wanted a Swirl was because of what it represents in terms of the textile industry in the Carolinas. When I first started looking for information about the company, most of the Googling I did only produced references to the factory and to the factory outlet store in obituaries. Back when the textile and garment industry of this region was good and healthy, most of these small plants had factory outlets where people could get some incredible bargains.
Starting in the mid 1960s my mother and a group of her friends would, several times a year, make their rounds of the outlets. And while they never visited the Swirl outlet, they did go to others in the Upstate of South Carolina and the North Carolina Piedmont. Much of the clothing I wore as a child was not only made in the USA, but it was made within 100 miles of where I lived.
Interesting how one of the things that people are now trying to do to lessen their negative impact upon the Earth is to buy locally made products. My mother was an environmentalist and she didn’t even know it! Today, the only textile product that I could buy from a Carolina factory outlet is socks!