PTP: What can the fabric tell me?

Sometimes the fabric an outfit is made out of can give you an idea about where it was made.

Do you have an outfit made from an unusual fabric? What does it mean?

From experience, I’ve noted that from 1983 to 1984, certain factories used specific fabrics for some outfits. This means that if an outfit is made from a certain fabric, you’ll have some idea of what factory/place may have made it.

I’m sorting this list in two ways; first by fabric type, second by outfit. The first group had more than one or two outfits made with it. Please note, I’m not an expert in fabrics, so if I’ve used the wrong term/label please let me know!

BY FABRIC

Regular Corduroy

This fabric was used by the Chinese factories for the Corduroy Suit (#5), Ruffled Overalls (#12), and P factory preemie Elephant Rompers (P#13).

Softer Corduroy

This fabric was used by all Taiwanese factories for the Corduroy Suit (#5), Ruffled Overalls (#12), and preemie Sailor Romper (#14).

Soft Felt-like Material

This fabric was used by Taiwanese IC and WW factories for the Corduroy Suit (#5), and Elephant Romper (#7). NOTE: WW factory outfit from the 1983 series are HTF.

It was also used by the SS and WS factories for the preemie Sailboat Romper (#14).

Blue preemie sailor romper (#12) with white blouse. It's made of a heavy polar fleece material.
Photo courtesy and Jodi Isaacs.

Velveteen

I believe that this fabric was only used by the OK factory for the Elephant Romper (#7), however, I have a very limited sample size. It was also used for Jesmar Preemie bunny outfits.

NOTE: Velveteen was used for other outfits too, but they are later outfits and it wasn’t factory or outfit indicative.

Heavy Canvas fabric

This fabric was used by some Jesmar factories for Swing dresses and Yoke dresses.

BY OUTFIT

Striped Jogging Suit (#18)Most of them have cotton material at the arms and legs. However, some are made with a silkier, thicker, more synthetic material. This fabric was used by the P, PMI, LF, and IJ factories (that I know of).

Kitty Jogging Suit (#5) – Heather-grey coloured fabric was only used by the PMI and USA factories.

31 Tracksuit (#8) Taiwanese material is not very fuzzy and is very thin.

USA Pinafore Dress The pinafore section of these dresses is a very thin cotton, almost translucent.

USA pinafore dress with white pinafore and blue and white check sleeves and bloomers.
Photos courtesy of Jodi Isaacs.

Fake jean cotton fabric – This was only used for Jesmar Denim Rompers.

Jesmar jean romper outfit with plaid shirt on a white hanger.

Jesmar Tights – Rather than the regular silky cotton material, some Jesmar tights are made of a more knitted type fabric. They were generally short and did not fit well.

A photo of Jesmar vs Coleco tights. Both pairs are white but the Jesmar tights are much shorter than the Coleco.
Jesmar vs. Coleco tights

Other Factory Tells

You can also determine factory based on:
– the thread pattern uesd on white t-shirts, see PTP: Wonderful White Shirts
– the type of silk label used, see PTP: Silk Label Secrets (Updated 08/21)

PTP: Bubble Romper Sweaters

How to determine which knit sweaters may go with which bubble romper. It’s all in the details!

Like all of the clothing made for Cabbage Patch Kids, the sweaters used in the #9 Bubble Romper Outfit are susceptible to differences based on factory. Meaning, the look of the sweaters changes based on the factory that produced them.

These sweaters are not tagged. (For information on what part of a CPK outfit do come tagged, visit Where are tags in clothing located?) Consequently, it is difficult to confidently match sweaters to rompers.

To determine which factory made a sweater, take note of the following.

  • The tension and pattern of the knit.
  • The patterns that are used for the edges and hems.
  • The pattern and look of the decoration around the neck. (If there are any.)
  • The colour(s) used around the neck.

NOTE: The factory of manufacture for each sweater is noted in the caption of the picture.

If you have a sweater that is not pictured here, or you have a better picture than one used here, I would love to see it.

Yellow Sweaters

I believe that yellow sweaters were only manufactured by the OK factory and for the 25th Anniversary Kids (Play Along).

Knit Booties

The correct knit booties will match the sweater. They will have the same tension and knit pattern. For more information visit Shoes: Knit Booties.

1984 Knit Outfit Series

This set of 3 knit outfits were the only new clothing that came out in 1984.

There were only four new outfits sold in 1984.

One of them was outfit #20, the sailor romper, which is often associated with the 1983 series. I believe that it was originally intended to be a part of that series and, for some reason, not produced until the next year.

Blue and white version of outfit #20, sailor romper.

The other three outfits are knit and were produced ONLY by the EX factory. They do not have codes like the other 1983 outfits. There are no letters or numbers.

Picture of an EX factory tag from a 1984 knit outfit.

Most of them came separately packaged. In later years, occasionally they can be found on boxed kids as they were getting rid of inventory.

I am unsure how long these outfits were produced but,  given that they are rarely seen, I don’t believe it was very long.

Suspenders and sweater outfit
I have it recorded in purple/mauve and blue.

Sweater set with hat
I have it recorded in pink /peach (I’m not sure if they are the same colour) and yellow.

Picture of the 1984 knit sweater set in yellow and white.

Sweater with leg warmers
I have it recorded in light blue and light green.

Preemie Outfits #15 and #16

Just in time for winter, warm knit outfits for your preemie!

Main graphic that is mint green with black text that says "#15 & #16 Knit sets". It also had a picture of two doll outfits, both knit.

1984 Preemie Clothing Series Summary

These two outfits only came packaged. They never came on dolls. They are similar to the 1984 Knit outfits that were produced for regular-sized kids, except that they were produced at the FW factory (Chinese), not the EX factory (Taiwanese). They were most likely sold only from 1984 – 1985.

Outfit #15 – Sweater and Pant Set
This outfit consists of a long-sleeve tri-colour striped sweater and a pair of white pants.

Outfit #16 – Scarf Outfit
This outfit consists of a white shirt with coloured trim, a pair of pants in the same colour, and a thin scarf that is white and colour striped.

Footwear: They did not come with any foot covering.

Version Information

I have recorded all the available versions of this outfit. There were only two of each. However, I could use pictures of the following:

  • A ‘piece’ shot of the yellow scarf outfit
  • The purple scarf outfit in the box
  • Both of the sweater outfits in the box

For details on the pictures required, jump to Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Graphic of the spreadsheet that shows which outfits I have recorded.

Preemie Outfit #14 – Sailboat Romper

This outfit was made in the biggest variety of fabrics! Click to learn more.

Main graphic that is light yellow with black writing that says "#14 Sailboat Romper" and a paci preemie dressed in blue corduroy sailboat romper.

1984 Preemie Clothing Series Summary

Description

This outfit consists of three pieces: a blouse, a hat and an overalls/romper piece.
The blouse is white cotton and has short sleeves, a pointed semi-spread collar, and two white buttons.
The romper is made of a variety of materials, all one colour/fabric and has a sailboat patch in the lower right corner.
The hat is the same fabric as the romper and has a small red anchor patch on it.

Picture of the pieces of the sailboat romper outfit. It is yellow corduroy.

Footwear: Regular shoes and socks

This outfit was most likely sold only from 1984 – 1985. Some packaged versions may have sold later than that.

Version Information

My goal is to find every version of every outfit that was produced. Below is a record of each version of this outfit that I have, up to the date indicated. To understand clothing codes, factories and variations, please refer to the suggested readings below.

Suggested readings: 1st Blog – Why do this project?, What are Clothing Tag Codes

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. you have a 14C P that is pink, not navy blue) I would appreciate hearing from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details on the pictures required, jump to Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Variations

> It seems like every factory that made this outfit used a different fabric.
                OK factory – Corduroy
                P factory  – Rough Corduroy
                SS, WS Factory – heavy polar fleece
                FD factory – Taiwan Corduroy (smoother than regular corduroy),
Silky cotton fabric

> The sailboat patches have very little variation; however, there are subtle differences between the Taiwanese factory patches and the Chinese factory patches. Take a look.

Picture showing and  example of the Taiwan factory sailboat patch and the Chinese factory sailbot patch for comparison. There is a yellow cord background.
Picture courtesy of Jodi’s Punki Patch.

One other very weird patch has come to light. This patch was found on an OK outfit. It doesn’t seem to have been bleached, but where did the purple come from? Special thanks to Jana Smith for this tidbit.

Close up picture of a sailboat patch with the regular red boat and masts, but purple strip on the sails and a purple banner.

> Mimic Outfit: #712 – This outfit comes in only one colour, light brown, and has a red anchor patch on it. The fabric is like a rough polar fleece. The shirt is almost identical to outfit #14. It was made by the OK factory. It came with knit booties, not regular shoes.

Picture of the 712 Mimic preemie outfit that is light brown with a red anchor.

Preemie Outfit #13: Elephant Romper

The preemie version of the elephant romper.

Main graphic which has a baby blue background and black text which says "#13 Elephant Romper" and a picture of a cabbage patch preemie wearing a mint greet romper with elephant applique and a white hat.

1984 Preemie Clothing Series Summary

Description

This outfit consists of a short-sleeved romper with no legs and a white cotton cap. The romper has a white cotton yoke with a white peter pan collar and two white buttons. The sleeves are also white cotton. The rest of the outfit is another solid colour and is either cotton or corduroy.

Picture of preemie outfit #13, elephant romper 13D CC which is vivid blue.

Footwear: Regular shoes and socks

This outfit was most likely sold only from 1984 – 1985. Some packaged versions may have sold later than that.

Version Information

My goal is to find every version of every outfit that was produced. Below is a record of each version of this outfit that I have, up to the date indicated. To understand clothing codes, factories, and variations, please refer to the suggested readings below.

Suggested readings: 1st Blog – Why do this project?, What are Clothing Tag Codes

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. you have a 13A P that is pink, not vivid blue) I would appreciate hearing from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details on the pictures required, jump to Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Variations

> As the chart clearly shows, all the P factory outfits are made of corduroy. The rest are all cotton.

> There are some colour differences between the CC (Taiwan) elephant patches and the others. Refer to the picture. For more information on the patches, visit PTP: Plentiful Patches Pt. 1

Pictuer of the elephant patches on 3 different preemie elephant rompers, a light blue OK, yellow SS, and vivid blue CC.
Can you spot the differences?

> Mimic Outfit: This outfit somewhat mimics the look of the 1983 Regular Series outfit #7, the Elephant Romper.

Picture of outfit #7, the elephant romper, from the 1983 regular series. It is light blue with a white shirt.

Other Information

I have only seen one example of this outfit coming with the ‘wrong’ patch. Thank you to Sean Goins for the information. For more information on the patches, visit PTP: Plentiful Patches Pt. 1

PTP: Plentiful Patches: Particulars (Pt. 2)

Part 2: Information specific to each embroidered patch (applique) used on CPK outfits.

Please read all of this as if someone was saying “At this point . . . .”, as further information may change these results over time.

For information on any of the outfits mentioned here, jump to the 1983 Series Summary

Teddy Bear Patch

Correct Outfit(s):  Sleeper (#2) & Cord Outfit (#5).
Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on: Elephant rompers (#7), Kitty Track Suits (#6)
It has also been found on: Ducky Dress (#11), Bib Dress (#15) (only once), Preemie Outfit #13

Picture of a teddy bear embroidered patch on a teal corduroy background. The bear is brown with dark brown outlines, pink heart on the chest and pink mouth and nose.

The Sleeper patches have a yellow and gold colour scheme, whereas the patches on the Corduroy Suit have a brown and dark beige colour scheme.

Both versions of the patch were used as ‘incorrect patches on other outfits, but I have a higher percentage of the lighter ones recorded as used in this way.

The Taiwanese factory patches also come in both light and dark, but their patches are generally much darker in colour.

Cat Patch

Correct Outfit:  Kitty Track Suits (#6),
Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on:  Ducky Dress (#11)
It has also been found on: no other outfits
It has NOT been found on: Sleeper (#2), Cord Suit (#5), Elephant Romper, (#7), Bib Dress (#15)

Picture of a cat shaped embroidered patch on a grey background. The cat is white with beige outlines, green eyes and a pink mouth and nose.

There appear to be two versions of this patch. One has a light-coloured outline and the other a dark outline. There does not seem to be any pattern as to when a factory uses the light or the dark version.

Once again, the only exception is the USA patch. Although there is a USA patches look like the others (although the face is badly rendered), another version has a green mouth, black eyes and pink whiskers and yet another version has pink eyes, green whiskers, and a black mouth.

Elephant Patch

Correct Outfit:  Elephant Romper (#7)
Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on:  none stand out at this time
It has also been found on: Kitty Track Suits (#6), Sleeper (#2), Cord outfit (#5)
It has NOT been found on: Ducky Dress (#11), Bib Dress (#15)

Picture of a elephant shaped embroidered patch on a red corduroy background. The elephant is light grey with a darker grey outline.The toes and ears are pink.

UPDATE: An elephant has been found on a bib, but no details are available on if it’s original or had been added later.

Each factory seems to have produced both a light outline and a dark outline version.

There are two types of trunks, one S-shaped and one C-shaped.

The C-shaped trunk has only been found on TSU and OK outfits with the ‘incorrect’ patch (as in, not Elephant Rompers). These OK patches are also lighter than most of the other OK patches. Interestingly, they are also found on aftermarket outfits. Jump to Plentiful Patches Part 1 for more information.

Duck Patch

Correct Outfit:  Ducky Dress (#11)  

Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on:  Elephant Romper (#7) & Cord outfit (#5)

It has also been found on: Sleeper (#2), Bib Dress (#15), Kitty Track Suit (#6)

Picture of a duck shaped embroidered patch on a white knit background. The duck is white with a yellow outlined for the body and head, and orange outline for the bill and feet.

There appears to be little variation in the appearance of the duck patches. The only differences I can see are in the colour of the thread used to make the feet and bill. Some thread is slightly darker than others.

Giraffe Patch

Correct Outfit:  Bib Dress (#15)

Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on:  none stand out at this time
It has also been found on: Kitty Track Suits (#6), Cord outfit (#5), Ducky Dress (#11), Elephant Romper (#7)
It has NOT been found on: Sleeper (#2)

Picture of a giraffe shaped embroidered patch on a white background. The giraffe is white with orange outlines. The mane, antlers and tail are yellow and it has beige dots on the body.

This patch does not seem to have been used ‘incorrectly’ very often but has been found on almost all the ‘patch’ outfits.

There do not appear to be many factory variations in the appearance of this patch. However, this is very difficult to determine, as bibs are very easy to switch from outfit to outfit. P factory giraffes may have slightly darker dots than the OK factory giraffes.  

The only exceptions I’ve found are the USA patch and the TP patch.
The USA patches look significantly different with gold edging, a silver tail, and red body dots versus the OK giraffes with orange edging, a yellow tail, and beige dots.
The TP patches have very dark orange outlines and very dark spots. The tail is a dark golden yellow and sticks up.

Bunny Patch

Picture of a bunny shaped embroidered patch on a grey corduroy background. The bunny's look has an oriental influence. It is white and wearing a red outfit and has red in it's ears.

As noted in Part 1, this patch is very rare. I have only recorded it on Kitty Track Suits (#5), Elephant Rompers (#7), and Ducky Dresses (#11) so far. I have seen it in yellow, red, and blue.

Other Bunny Patch (not CPK)

This patch is often confused as an official CPK patch. At this time our evidence shows that it came on aftermarket, Sunshine Kids, outfits. Like all the patches at the time, they were likely sold individually as well.

Sheep Applique

As noted in Part 1, this patch is very rare. I have only recorded it on bib dresses. I have seen it in white, yellow, and red. I have three instances of this patch on early Coleco outfits, and one (in red) on a Tsukuda outfit. At this time I have only found it being used by the OK factory.

PTP: Plentiful Patches Pt. 1

The 1983 regular kids clothing series uses the cutest patches, but it’s like holiday elves lived in the factory! Sometimes the patches aren’t on the outfits they’re supposed to be!

Informative Note: It turns out I’ve been using the wrong word to describe these things. I have no idea where I learned applique, but they’re actually patches.

Embroidered patch: a piece of embroidery that is created by using a fabric backing and thread. They can be attached with a pin, sewn on, or affixed with more modern methods such as iron-on, dryer heat-activated adhesive, and velcro backing. (Ref)
Applique: ornamental needlework in which pieces fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn or stuck onto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern. (Ref)

There are 6 or 7 PATCHES that were used on six of the 1983 Regular series Coleco outfits.

Each of the outfits that came with a patch generally came with a specific patch on it.

However, occasionally, the patch found on an outfit isn’t the ‘correct’ one.  No one is quite sure why this happened, but here are a few theories:

  1. During production, they ran out of the ‘correct’ patch and just grabbed whichever one was closest at hand and used it.
  2. It was done intentionally, for reasons unknown.
  3. Some of the ‘incorrect’ patches may have been replacements for those that had fallen off. However, as so many MIB kids with incorrect patches have been found, this cannot explain all of them.

As button ducky dresses and outfits with transparent buttons have been located with ‘incorrect’ patches,  this practice must have started quite early in production.

The majority of the ‘incorrect’ patches I have recorded are on OK outfits, with a scattering on P outfits. I have only one Taiwanese factory outfit recorded with an incorrect patch, an AX outfit. The rarity of this find can also be attributed to the fact that Taiwanese clothing is not as abundant as China factory clothing.

The ‘Foreign’ Patches

Some of the patches engender questions. The bunny patch and the sheep patch are greatly questioned.

I have recorded the bunny patch on Kitty Jogging Suits, Elephant Rompers, and Ducky Dresses. Although rare, they can be found.

I’ve found this patch on early 1983 and 1984 kids, both examples on outfit 15J OK. It has also been seen on a Tsukuda . (Jan 2023)

Outfit #15J OK, blue with red and yellow flowers and a bib with a red lamb patch.
Courtesy of Holly Spencer.

Almost all the bunny and sheep patches have been found on OK outfits; only one has been found on an AX outfit. It would appear that both have an East Asian influence in look and/or use. Although they appear to be legitimately CPK, the bunny, at least, can also be found on aftermarket outfits.

Yellow overalls with a red bunny applique and a red, yellow, and green striped shirt. It is in a box and was made by the Little Mommy Doll Fashions.
Courtesy of Callie Anne

As noted above, this does not preclude the outfits from being genuine CPK. There’s evidence of aftermarket outfits using ‘genuine’ CPK patches. For example, this Sunshine Kids outfit, produced by Playmates, has an elephant patch.

Boxed white dres withblue pattern and elephant applique. It is a Sunshine Kids outfit and a yellow box.
Courtesy of Holly Van Warcup

Both the Shilllman Company and Playmates manufactured their toys in Hong Kong (Ref), the same place Coleco could have acquired their patches from.  It appears that more than one toymaker used the same supplier!

Interestingly, all of the elephant patches on ‘incorrect’ outfits (aka not Elephant Rompers) have a trunk shape that matches the trunk shape of the Tsukuda and aftermarket outfit patches.

Could all these elephants have come from the same supplier? Maybe the elephants on the ‘incorrect’ outfits were a last-minute order or ordered when their regular supplier ran out. Jump to Part 2 for details

Either way, the bunny parch is rare on CPK outfits and the sheep patch even more so.

Preemie Elephant Romper, #13

Only one preemie outfit has a patch, the preemie elephant romper (#13).

Mint green preemie elephant romper outfit.

Originally I thought this outfit never had an ‘incorrect’ patch. It is still extremely rare, but one has been spotted! Special thank you to Sean Goins.

Photo courtesy of Sean Goins.

Interestingly, all the outfits that I have recorded have the S-shaped trunk patch; none use the C. This strengthens the argument that the C-shaped trunk patches were ‘secondary’ to the S-shaped ones.

Continue to Plentiful Patches Part 2 for detailed information on each Patch.

Preemie Outfit #12 – Bunny Outfit

Unique among the preemie outfits for cut and fabric, it also hides the secrets of the Jesmar Preemie outfits.

Main graphic with a baby pink background and the words #12 Bunny Outfit. It also has a doll dressed in a blue version of the outfit.

1984 Preemie Clothing Series Summary

Description

There are three pieces to this outfit, and it is made of terry cloth (well most are). The entire outfit is one solid colour except for the underside of the beak of the bonnet and the accents on the bunny top.

The top has a bunny head on the front, which acts as a pouch. The features are done in coloured thread.

Footwear: Regular white shoes and socks

12J WS version of the bunny outfit. It is white with navy blue accents.

Most versions of this outfit were most likely sold only from 1984 – 1985. Some packaged versions may have sold later than that, and the Jesmar versions appeared in 1987 (Refer below).

Version Information

My goal is to find every version of every outfit that was produced. Below is a record of each version of this outfit that I have, up to the date indicated. To understand clothing codes, factories and variations, please refer to the suggested readings below.

Suggested readings: 1st Blog – Why do this project?, What are Clothing Tag Codes

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. you have a 12D OK that is pink, not yellow, I would appreciate hearing from you.) Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details on the pictures required, jump to Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Variations

> Jesmar Preemie outfits: There are three versions of this outfit. They came out in early to middle 1987 (Ref#4, 1987, Iss. 9, p.4) and came both Jesmar Preemies and regular Coleco preemies. They are velveteen and the only versions of this outfit made in a fabric other than terry cloth. For more information, visit here.

> The bunny face and details of the outfits vary slightly by factory.

  • The OK factory outfits are very distinctive. The ears are tacked up with an almost invisible stitch, the mouth is badly zig-zagged, the eyes are oval-shaped, and the ears are folded ‘in’ not flat ‘out’.
  • The P and SS outfits have round eyes, ears folded ‘out’ not ‘in’, and the ears are tacked up with a distinctive stitch.
  • The WS outfits look a lot like the P and SS outfits except the top of the are sewn all the way across, not just held on by a stitch.

> Mimic Outfit: 25th Anniversary Preemie version – This outfit came out only in white with blue accents. The most noticeable difference is the beak of the hat, which is patterned on the bottom and on top. It is likely that the back closure only extends halfway down, but I have not seen it to know for sure.

25th Anniversary Play Along Preemie new in box. It is bald with brown eyes.

Preemie Outfit #11: Romper with Vest

What a dapper young man in his vest and cap!

1984 Preemie Clothing Series Summary

Description

This is a three-piece outfit. It comes with a one-piece short-sleeved romper that is white on top and patterned at the bottom, a sleeveless vest that matches the romper pattern and has two ties at the front, and (generally) a white cap.

Footwear: Regular shoes and socks

Example of preemie outfit #1 that is navy blue and white gingham pattern.

This outfit was most likely sold only from 1984 – 1985. Some packaged versions may have sold later than that.

Version Information

My goal is to find every version of every outfit that was produced. Below is a record of each version of this outfit that I have, up to the date indicated. To understand clothing codes, factories and variations, please refer to the suggested readings below.

Suggested readings: 1st Blog Why do this project?, What are Clothing Tag Codes

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. you have a 11 B that is pink and white gingham, not green and white gingham) I would appreciate hearing from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details on the pictures required, jump to Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Variations

> Mimic Outfit: #711 – This outfit is structurally identical to outfit #11 except that there are no ties on the vest. It doesn’t come with a bonnet but did come with knit booties instead of shoes and socks. Special thanks to Sarah Galt for first bringing this outfit to my attention.

Picture courtesy of a Francesca Pilgrim Smart

> So far, the P and FD factory outfits have the clothing tag in the vest. The OK, WW, and SS factory outfits have the clothing tag in the romper.

> I have only one example where the hat is made of the same pattern fabric as the romper, an FD factory outfit. All the rest are plain white.

Picture of preemie outfit #11 which is a light teal blue and white gingham, however, this one, has a matching hat instead of a white hat.