Acorn Peau de Satin, The Bruner Woolen Co.

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Here’s a bit of color to brighten the day of those of us being held in the grip of winter.

This is a silk sample card from the Bruner Woolen Company.  As far as I can tell, Bruner was a jobber, or a middleman between the fabric manufacturer and the clothing maker or fabric retailer.  There was a Bruner Mill in Pennsylvania, but I don’t think there is a link between it and this company. I also found reference to a Bruner mill in  Winooski, Vermont, so it is possible that they made at least some of the goods they sold.   There were four branches of the company, in New York, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Chicago.

The big woolen jobbers like Bruner and Detmer sold to tailors and factories and stores by the use of sample cards.   The salesman would have a big case filled with his samples for the buyer to consider.   I have a case from Detmer from the 1920s that is worth a look if you have not seen it. Smaller cards like this one would be left with the buyer or mailed to them.

This sample card is a tri-fold.  The first fold had a large sample of black Acorn Peau de Satin, and the information the buyer needed to know.  Unfold it again and there were the color samples.

The range of shades offered is quite extensive, with there being thirteen different blues and ten tans.  Unfortunately there is no date, and I don’t know enough about color usage of each era to say the exact date of these colors.  I do know it is before 1922, when Bruner merged with Detmer and two other companies.  My guess is that from the 1910s.  Any thoughts?


Filed under Collecting, Curiosities

16 responses to “Acorn Peau de Satin, The Bruner Woolen Co.

  1. I just love these old samples!

    This one can’t be earlier than 1914. This patent-office journal shows that the Acorn peau de satin trade-mark was filed in 1916; “Claims use since Jan. 1, 1914.”


  2. Don’t you have the urge to make a tiny quilt out of those samples? I love hearing about the fabrics and weaves from the era. I tried mightily to find some of the heavy silk “Canton Crepe” that’s described in my grandmother’s 1920s wedding announcement, but no one seems to make it anymore.


    • It could be a rainbow quilt.

      Reading old wedding announcements is a real exercise in textile frustration. Half of the fabrics are no longer in existence and the others have had name changes. And then there are the color references that need a color translator!


  3. You just explained to me why the basic clothing goods store in my hometown was called Jobber’s Outlet. Makes complete sense now. They carried work clothes, union suits, etc. We use to buy “painter’s pants” there. We wore those with cute little “gypsy” or floral tops. I love these samples. Thank you!


  4. What a treasure! I have a hard time when I come across these sample cards in archives–I just want to take them home. Too bad it’s too late to order three yards of #42.


  5. Christina

    What is the wieght of the fabric Lizzie? Does “satin” refer to the sheen or the weight? The registered patent date is interesting as the textile industry in the USA had relied heavily on imported dyestuffs which had been affected by the First World War. The phrase “all year round” might be a clue suggesting limited availability from other suppliers.


    • Satin is by definition a weave in which some of the threads are floated across the surface of the fabric, giving it a smoother, glossier quality than other weaves. It looks as if they’re using “peau de satin” as an alternate name for peau de soie, which is basically the same thing as Duchess satin: a moderately heavy, cross-ribbed, slightly dulled silk satin with a much stiffer drape than, say, charmeuse.


    • Satin refers to the sheen. As Jessamyn has said, the threads are floated to give a smooth and shiny appearance. It is like a Duchess satin, but lighter weight.


  6. That is interesting about the fabric Jessamyn. My mothers wedding dress was silk peau de soie and my mother always said it like with a chuckle and fake uppity voice because apparently it was expensive and the thing to have in a wedding dress in her day. That was 1960. Your description of her dress fabric is correct.


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