Thursday, April 21, 2011

Late 19th C Fabrics

About 15 years ago while driving through what at the time was a notoriously violent inner city neighborhood in Philadelphia on my way to a beloved thrift store, I came across some guys cleaning out
an old building under the El. Just as we drove by we saw them toss an armload of vintage dresses from a second floor window into the dumpster. 30's dresses by the look of them as the floated down. We whipped into a nearby parking spot and convinced the guys to take a breather while we grabbed the rest of the clothing. The store front had been a florists from about 1900. It looked like it probably had not been open since the early 1960s. There were only a couple closets of women's things from the 30s and 40s, But in one very small room was a very large armoire stacked with bolts of cloth. All of the fabric inside the armoire was covered with old newspapers with headlines announcing the latest news of the first world war! It seems the entire second floor of the building had basically been untouched as business on the first floor continued all those years. The fabrics from the look of them were already old by the time they were covered. Miraculously they were in fantastic condition. Here are a few samples of the indigo dyed shirting and various calico patterns as well as some flannels that are reversible. I've folded the flannels so you can see both sides.

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