I’ve written about Avoca before, or rather Graham Wynne, whose family owned Avoca for years wrote a great piece for The Vintage Traveler about the relationship between Avoca Handwoven in Ireland and the Carol Brown company in Vermont. It’s a great story if you have not already read it.
Last week I found a cap with the Avoca Collection label. The cap is made from a beautiful handwoven wool, very similar in texture to the dress I have from Carol Brown. And while the Carol Brown dress was easy to date based on style, the cap is a bit harder, being a classic style with a small brim that snaps.
There are some clues on the label, the Woolmark, which was first used in 1964, and the Ginetex care symbols. These symbols were created in 1963, but were first used in Great Britain in 1975. Actually, all the information I’ve ever found and read about Ginetex has been very confusing, but I did learn from the Ginetex site that in 1983 a fifth symbol, that of the tumble dryer, was added. If that information is correct, then I can safely date my cap between 1975 and 1983.
Not that I really care, but I do like to know the stories behind things. Avoca is still in operation, with wovens still being produced. The company is now very different, with it having a line of fashionable clothing and housewares. I could not find on their site where woven caps were still being made, although scarves and throws are offered.
I love the colors used in this fabric. The medium blue must be the warp, or the base yarns through which the weft is woven. The weft varies from green to blue to violet. It makes for a very interesting textile, much more so than using the same color year for both the warp and the weft.
Today you can tour the Avoca Mill. Field trip anyone?