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Monthly Archives: October 2012

This wonderful, very heavy 1920s sweater was made by A. G. Spalding Bros, one of the premier and legendary American sportswear manufacturers. They provide basketballs for the NBA, for example. The body is too long for me (they were cut long – the arms are perfect – but I prefer them shorter in the body), so I turn up the waistband for a waist-length sweater. The deep arm and waistband hem ribbing is to die for.

[EDIT] It’s been pointed out to me that the zip codes like the one on the owner’s label were not in use until 1963. So, this very old sweater was still in use in the 1960s or later, or was bought new at that time.

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Obviously not all vintage ties are super interesting patterns or fabrics. Mostly they’re simple, sober … conservative. This is a classic example of a 30s-50s British tie, very common in charity shops. It’s made of silk, so a bit better quality than the standard rayon or cotton tie of the era, but the construction is is the same and very different from American tie construction. Nice!

As one expects, there’s a distinct air of racism about a lot of advertising from the middle 1900s. The use of Chinese Silk allowed for the use of very obvious stereotypes in advertising. One egregious example of period racism is Congo Cloth. I suspect that they chose the name simply to be able to use a stylised “African” face in their adverts and labels. Sure, the fabric was designed for warmer climates, but Congo seems a bit arbitrary. Really awful. Below the pic of the tie is an advertisement for Congo Cloth from a 1938 edition of Esquire.

I’ve come to the conclusion that of all the tie makers producing handpainted ties in California in the 1940s, Linde really was one of the best. The painting on the ties by this company are almost always very well done. Quite often, these ties come across as being quite amateurishly painted. Not Linde.

Angry Pheasant:

Very often with vintage clothing, you have to make compromises based on what’s available. I’ve become more and more sick and tired of finding work jackets with close, but not quite perfect (subjective, obviously), features. So, I decided to make one. This is first off the Kurtz production line, so the top stitching is a bit wonky and variable. Let’s just imagine I based it on the production line and quality control standards of a WWII era factory. 😉 What I really like about vintage workwear is the attention to style that went into it. The fancy backs and pleats, the functional large patch pockets, and cuff detailing are all inspired by original pieces. A far cry from the modern shapeless polyester sacks that pass for workwear.

I bought a huge amount of heavy khaki drill cotton fabric to make my original creations, in preparation and practice for when I begin to work with more interesting or rare materials. Not that the correct colour and weight of cotton drill was easy to come by, but that’s a different story. The liner is cut from a remnant piece heavy wool I found in the bargain bin at MacCulloch and Wallis (just £2!), and the arms are lined in standard striped polished cotton arm lining material, again a feature commonly seen on (particularly French) vintage workwear jackets. The zipper is a late 1930s Talon, and the cinch buckles are of similar vintage.

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