The Swirl of My Dreams

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!


Posted by ++f+:

great post. this dress is adorable. 

Saturday, July 3rd 2010 @ 12:59 AM

Posted by Deb:

I am so happy to learn more about SWIRL. I have several in my collection. They have never been washed so the starched size tag which includes the style number,size is next to the Swirl tag. I also have Neat & tidy. Stripes, seersucker prints, and cotton prints. All big pockets. I did not know about the Swirl button so I went and checked and yep they have it!:) I looked for a hang tag but alas none. 

Monday, July 5th 2010 @ 4:58 PM

Posted by Deb:

Ps. The original price tags: $5.95 and $6.95 

Monday, July 5th 2010 @ 5:00 PM

Posted by samsara:

Thank you so much for the re-post and all these lovely close up photos. The face of the wind with the crown is priceless. This is indeed the Swirl to beat all Swirls. And I love that your mother was an environmentalist and didn’t know it! 

Wednesday, July 7th 2010 @ 12:41 PM

Posted by Em:

Great and informative post… 

Wednesday, July 7th 2010 @ 1:41 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Deb it sounds like you have a great vintage collection! 

Monday, July 12th 2010 @ 7:26 PM

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