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Early History of Pattern Companies: 1860s–1880s

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution 2014

Book chapter

Demorest, the first to mass-produce retail patterns for the home sewer in the United States, took advantage of the expanded postal services selling by mail order as well as in retail outlets. Who the actual designer of the first patterns was is somewhat unclear. Mrs. Margaret Demorest (née Poole) is listed as Mme Demorest in Leslie’s Lady’s Gazette of Fashion in July 1854. However, it is believed that William Jennings Demorest employed Ellen Louise Curtis and her sister Kate from the early 1850s

New Markets and Expansion: 1880s–1900

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution 2014

Book chapter

By 1880, the six major U.S. pattern companies—Demorest, Butterick, McCall, Harper’s Bazar, Taylor, and Domestic—had positioned themselves in the market. Each published a magazine advertising their patterns for the latest fashions for women, a full complement of children’s clothing, undergarments for all, and shirts, trousers, and various other men’s non-tailored garments.

The Garment Industry and Retailing in Canada

Cynthia Cooper

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The apparel industry is the tenth-largest manufacturing sector in Canada. Apparel is manufactured in all provinces and territories. T. Eaton Company was a department store that operated from 1869 to 1999 and became a household name in Canada as a mail order company. As one of the early large manufacturers, it led the way in vertical integration. Eaton’s introduced its first mail order catalog in 1884, a thirty-two-page booklet listing department store merchandise. While a wide variety of merchand

Textile and Apparel Industries at the Turn of the Millennium

Kitty G. Dickerson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Behind the runway shows and other glitz and glamour of the fashion industry are the textile and apparel firms that churn out the garments and other textile products for U.S. consumers. These are companies that have to deal with serious realities of profit and survival in an intensely competitive environment. Just as fashions are transformed over the years with hemlines that rise and fall and silhouettes that change, the industries and companies that produce the fashions have been completely trans

Ready-to-Wear

Jean L. Druesedow

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Speculative production began in antiquity with garments and accessories traded internationally. For example, ready-to-wear was part of ancient Babylonian business life as recorded on clay tablets dating from 1400 to 1200 B.C.E. A merchant there wrote to his associates to instruct them to open his warehouse, take out garments from his sealed chests and from the chests of garments returned to him by another merchant. He instructed them to “Write your tablets as follows: they have taken so-and-so ma

Jews in the Melbourne Garment Trade

Anna Epstein

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

For a large part of the twentieth century the garment trade was an important industry in the southern Australian state of Victoria. Since clothing was a big part of the country’s manufacturing, the Jews of the garment trade made a large contribution to Australia’s economy. This multifaceted industry had its own economic and social history, gorgeous products, and camaraderie and color at its heart, Flinders Lane. It gave rise to the individualism, flair, entrepreneurial spirit, and sheer fun that

The Australiana Phenomenon in Australia

Sally Gray

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The 1970s and 1980s saw a trend in Australian fashion design, consumption, fashion writing, and exhibitions toward the celebration of “Australianness,” including flora, fauna, urban vernacular themes, Aboriginal art motifs, and the idea of a national “personality” in dress. While this preoccupation was not unique to these decades, it was associated then with a wide range of clothing, leading designers like Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson, and key dates in Australian cultural history—including the Bic

The Apparel Industry

Jan Hilger

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Before the mid-nineteenth century garments were produced manually. With the invention of sewing machines, mass manufacturing became possible. In just over 160 years, business complexity increased from one-man companies, dominated by artisan tailors, to multinational corporations. In Europe and in the United States the first apparel factories following the Fordist model were established. A new unskilled workforce replaced skilled craftsmen. With growing distance from the consumer and decreasing in

The Textile Industry

Sara J. Kadolph and Sara B. Marcketti

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Any overview of the textile industry in the United States and Canada will focus primarily on the United States until the latter part of the nineteenth century, as Canada and its textile production were still controlled by Britain until that time. Textile manufacture was one of the first mechanized industries to incorporate outwork production into its manufacturing procedures. An industry of hand-produced lace existed prior to the introduction of English lace machines in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in

The Fashion Industry

Yuniya Kawamura

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The origin of garment making is traceable to when humans started covering their bodies. Western clothes changed from the unconstructed dress of the ancient Mediterranean world to the more structured garments of the late Middle Ages. Western apparel became more intricate, requiring increasingly specialized skills for its construction. Before the Industrial Revolution that began in England in the latter half of the eighteenth century, making clothes was an arduous task, and quality garments were an

Globalization and Dress

Margaret Maynard

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The trading of articles of dress, cloth, body adornments, precious stones, oils, and perfumes across wide areas of the globe, whether by sea, river, or overland routes, has taken place for centuries. All manner of cultural transfers and modifications of dress have eventuated because of migrations, diasporic movements, and subjugation of peoples. Something very different, though, is the globalization of dress, the increasing dominance of mass-produced standardized clothing across the world, which

Victorian Fashion

Rebecca N. Mitchell

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

This article offers a review of the major sartorial trends that occurred in Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), to suggest that evolving women’s and men’s fashions in the period reflect the social, political, and economic developments of the day. In addition to discussing the evolution of Victorian style, the article treats industrial and retail innovations (including the rise of mass-produced garments and the department store), progressive movements (including the Rational Dr

Cosmetics and Skin Care

Brian Moeran and Lise Skov

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Within the area of dress, defined as body supplements and body modification according to Joanne Eicher’s terminology, cosmetics and skin care are a subgroup of nonpermanent body modifications. Admittedly, the issue of permanence is relative; antiwrinkle cream, for example, is intended to have an enduring effect. Also, in some cases, permanent and nonpermanent treatments are interchangeable; skin bleaching or tattoos can replace makeup, and hair removal can be temporary or permanent.

Urban Fashion Culture in Australia

Juliette Peers

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Australian men’s and women’s fashions between 1870 and 1945 were rich, complex, and volatile. Clothing and textiles were a central pivot of settler society, from the social life of the small urban or rural elite, to the daily grind of thousands of factory hands in large cities. Despite the strong gender divide in Australia, fashionable dressing was not simply a female pursuit. Fewer men’s clothes have been collected, however, and they can be hard to identify as made in Australia unless specifical

The Textile Industry

Michiel Scheffer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The textile industry covers the sequence of production stages, starting from fibers through clothing assembly. Europe’s textile industry has been significant in both economic and cultural history. It was the first sector to industrialize and was therefore at the core of the pervasive economic and social changes that took place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For more than a century, the advantages of large-scale cloth production made West Europe a world leader in this trade, but since

The Garment Industry and Retailing in the United States

Rob Schorman

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The U.S. garment industry has followed a distinctive path that at various times has seemed to position it in the vanguard of industrial development and at other times as a stubborn holdout of archaic production methods. Some characteristics of the industry have remained stable from the start: its dependence on a dense web of subcontractors arrayed in relatively small units of production, its basic workflow organization, its extreme sensitivity to consumer preferences, and its resistance to automa

England

Naomi E.A. Tarrant

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In 1800, the people of England dressed in the general West European clothing style that was worn by all fashionable people. Wealth determined what a person could afford to wear but not the style. There was no folk dress, so the general impression was that wealthy people wore the same styles as their workers, with only the quality showing the difference. The poor acquired garments from secondhand clothes dealers or as gifts from wealthier family members or friends, charities, and employers, as wel

Types and Properties of Fashionable Dress

Phyllis G. Tortora

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Clothing worn by those who live in the United States and Canada may be classified in a similar way to dress of peoples in any part of the world. Types and elements of dress have been classified by Joanne Eicher and other dress scholars, for example, as body modifications or body supplements, which have such properties as color, volume and proportion, shape and structure, surface design, texture, odors and scents, sound, and taste. Not all of these elements were notable in North American dress. Fo

History and Development of Fashion

Phyllis G. Tortora

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Although the nouns dress and fashion are often used interchangeably, scholars usually define them much more precisely. Based on the definition developed by researchers Joanne Eicher and Mary Ellen Roach Higgins, dress should encompass anything individuals do to modify, add to, enclose, or supplement the body. In some respects dress refers to material things or ways of treating material things, whereas fashion is a social phenomenon. This study, until the late twentieth century, has been undertake

Cheap Mass-Produced Men's Clothing in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

Sarah Levitt

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion 2nd Edition 2009

Book chapter

The clothing of the working people, in the majority of cases, is in a very bad condition. The material used for it is not of the best adapted. Wool and linen have almost vanished from the wardrobe of both sexes, and cotton has taken their place. Shirts are made of bleached or coloured cotton goods; the dresses of the women are chiefly of cotton print goods, and woollen petticoats are rarely seen on the washline. The men wear chiefly trousers of fustian or other heavy cotton goods, and jackets or

Fact, Fabrication and Material Misreading: The Genealogy of “Authentic African Print Fabric”

Leslie W. Rabine

Source: The Global Circulation of African Fashion 2002

Book chapter

A sign outside a store in the Los Angeles garment district reads: “ASHANTI Authentic African Print Fabrics.” On his website, a Senegalese immigrant tailor in the South Street District of Philadelphia writes: “At Sandaga USA we offer: Authentic fabrics from Sotiba, manufacturers in Dakar, Senegal” (Sandaga USA 2001). At the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Southern California, the gift shop sells shirts of Sotiba African print. The shop manager tells me that the designer used “authentic fabrics,”

The Sewing Machine Comes Home

Tim Putnam

Source: The Culture of Sewing. Gender, Consumption and Home Dressmaking 1999

Book chapter

Patent disputes among early makers and inventors were a factor inhibiting the expansion of the industry. The agreement known as the ‘Sewing Machine Combination’ concluded this ‘war’ at the end of 1856 and established a common technological platform. The Combination’s decision to license rather than restrict rights represented a belief in the very wide potential dissemination of machines for sewing and an acceptance that design, production and marketing innovation could not be controlled by, or li

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