Tag Archives: 1949

Ad Campaign – Premier Nylon Thread, 1949


Nylon Sewing Thread


Nylon Garments.


Premier S.S. Neophil

…Nothing Finer!

The FIRST Successful Nylon Sewing Thread

This is a seriously odd ad, from the poem-like copy to the naked women worshiping(?) the nylon garments hanging from trees.  Naturally!

But beyond that, this is actually a useful ad as it helps establish when nylon thread was first used.  Nylon was first marketed in 1938 as stockings, but due to WWII, nylon garments were not really available until after 1945.   After the war there was a great deal of experimentation with the fiber, and new uses, especially lingerie and blouses, were developed.

I don’t know when nylon thread became available to the home sewer, but I can remember people being really excited about it in the mid to late 1960s.  Perhaps this is one of those cases where my experiences do not firmly mesh with the historical facts.


Filed under Advertisements

Ladies’ Home Journal, February, 1949

To celebrate the first snow for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought a bit of a sledding party was in order.  I love how the mother and children are all dressed alike, right down to the half-belts on the backs of their coats.  And such an effective use of red, seen only on the caps and in their cheeks (and Mom’s lips).  


Filed under Fashion Magazines, Winter Sports

Ad Campaign – Moygashel Linen, 1949

Stand Out in Moygashel Linen

When great houses like B.H. Wragge – Paul Parnes – Davidow – Pat Premo – Kane-Weill select MOYGASHEL Irish linen to create their masterpieces, that is your assurance that MOYGASHEL must stand for the best…so when you shop for yourself, insist on MOYGASHEL…it’s color-fast…crease-resistant…pure…and imported especially for the discriminating.

I was attracted to this ad for today because of all the talk about parasols, but what I want to write about is Irish linen, and especially Moygashel.  Moygashel is not a type of linen, it is a brand name.  I’ve known vintage buyers and sellers to be confused because clothing made of Moygashel linen often has a label identifying it as such, and it is easy to conclude that Moygashel is the name of the garment maker.

As the ad tells us, Moygashel was considered to be the highest quality Irish linen.  Not only did quality garment makers choose it, the fabric was available to home dressmakers, and the coveted Moygashel label was included with a purchase.

What makes Irish linen, and  Moygashel in particular, so so wonderful?  Experts tell us it is the quality of the water in Ireland with which the fibers are processed, much in the same way that the water in Scotland is thought to play a role in the quality of their cashmere.

There is still a linen industry in Ireland, though most of the raw material, flax, is grown in northern Europe and China and imported into the country.   Moygashel still exists as well, as a division of Ulster Weavers, specializing in home furnishing linens.


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Ad Campaign – Riegel Fabric, 1949

Riegel’s Fine-carded Gabardine is a ’round the year fabric for smartly styled garments that must look well, wear well… and cost less!  It has the rich “feel” that identifies quality everywhere… in a range of colors and weights for heavy outerwear or summer playclothes.

Whatever is wrong with actually dressing to fit the weather?  Can you imagine the young woman above in stiletto booties with no socks or tights, and a shaggy white fur jacket?  Or how about white wide legged pants that drag the ground, gathering snow and getting soaked through?  And my personal favorite, white print skinny jeans with four inches of bare leg between them and  white wedge shoes.  Yet in the aftermath of a snowstorm in New York City, these outfits were a common sight.

I know that there are people who spend weeks planning their ensembles for NY Fashion Week, and far be it from me to say they don’t have the right to look as foolish as they wish.  But there is a lot to be said for being a bit flexible when it comes to dressing for the weather.  Is it not possible for one to be both comfortable and fashionable?

I know that I’m missing the point here.  The purpose of dressing up for Fashion Week is so that one will be photographed.  Suzy Menkes calls it the Circus of Fashion.  The saddest part is that she is right:

Having lived through the era of punk and those underground clubs in London’s East End, where the individuality and imagination of the outfits were fascinating, I can’t help feeling how different things were when cool kids loved to dress up for one another — or maybe just for themselves.



Filed under Advertisements, Proper Clothing, Viewpoint, Winter Sports

Ad Campaign – Wesley Simpson, 1949

Wesley Simpson was a fabric designer, and was the husband of designer Adele Simpson.  Today he is probably known mostly for the scarves he designed and produced in the late 1940s.

Today most consumers would be hard pressed to name even one maker of fabrics but in the mid 20th century, the fabric used by a maker of clothing was often a big selling point.  Clothing manufacturers and fabric makers often teamed up for joint ad campaigns, and it is not uncommon to see a fabric label along with the maker’s label in a high quality vintage garment.

I love the matching shoes, which were made by Joyce.  The swimsuit is by Cole of California.


Filed under Advertisements

Ideas Tailored on a Moment’s Notice

I suppose I ought to have a category titled, “Things I didn’t know,”  because that is where this entry would have to be placed.   Or it could go under “Things I learned while looking for something else,”  or even, “Things I should have noticed before but did not.”

While looking through my collection of American Fabrics magazines, the above ad caught my eye.  It tells how fabric maker Cohama maintained the Cohama Hand-Looming Workshop,  a place where the fabric designers could experiment with their ideas before committing to large runs on the mechanized looms.  I thought that this was a pretty neat idea, and gave Cohama some silent brownie points for such a practical solution to what can be a costly problem.

But it turns out that Cohana was not the only wool manufacturer who relied on the hand loom to try out the new ideas of the designers.

In the Fall 1949 issue of American Fabrics there is a small article, “Ideas Tailored on a Moment’s Notice”, in which they show the hand weaving operation at Forstmann Woolen Company.   Called the Provincial Designing Room, it was under the direction of Miss Margaret Swanson, and employed two hand looms on which weavers would interpret the ideas of designers working for clothing manufacturers.  The designer could watch the fabric develop, and make changes if necessary.  After the designer was satisfied with the sample, it would be processed by the mechanized looms.

I love the quaintness of the Provincial Designing Room!   In the photo above Miss Swanson is working with Ellen Brooke of Glenhunt (A suit and coat maker) and a hand weaver to develop the fabric to Miss Brooke’s satisfaction.

Brooke and Swanson, looking at how the newly developed fabric cuts and drapes.

The hand weaver, Alice Berman, making the sample worked out by Swanson and Brooke.

A swatch of the handwoven sample

And where the run of fabric will eventually be made, on the fully automated looms at Forestmann.

All illustrations are from the Fall 1949 issue of American  Fabrics and are copyright Reporter Publications, Inc.


Filed under Designers, Textiles

The More Things Change….

Full ad, 1949.

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Filed under Vintage Travel