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!


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.


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.


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: Unique Accents: PMI

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong.
~ Ernie, Sesame Street

The 1983 series outfits that the PMI factory produced (letters S and T) were unique in several ways. One of them is the colour of the trim and thread used to accent the basic white shirt and the white blouse.

The White Shirt

The basic white shirt came with the elephant romper outfit (#7) and the corduroy suit (#5). Most of them came with a decorative navy-blue zigzag stitching around the sleeve hems and the neckline. Some factories can be identified by the characteristics of this zigzag stitch, but that is a different post!

The unique thing about PMI white shirts is the COLOUR of the decorative thread. Unlike the other factories, the colour of the thread matches the colour of the outfit itself.

The PMI factory created two versions of each 1983 outfit (that they made; they didn’t do all of them). So, there are four white shirts with decorative zigzag stitching that isn’t navy blue.  I know of these two, do you know of the other two?

Also, if you have these outfits and know, can you provide complete codes for them? I don’t know if either is S or T.

The White Blouse

Like the thread on the white shirts, it’s the rick rack on the blouse in the ruffled overalls outfit that is a colour match. Once again, I have one of the two PMI outfits, but I don’t know the complete code. Do you have this outfit or the other PMI outfit? Can you send me pics?

Bonus Pics!

I am still looking for information on PMI versions of the following outfits. If you have them, please send tag pictures!

Frilly A-line Dress (#4)
Corduroy Suit (#5)
Elephant Romper (#7)
31 Tracksuit (#8)
Square Yoke Dress (#13)
Bib Dress (#15)
Denim Romper (#16)
Sailor Suit (#20)

#12 Ruffled Overalls

We’re all ready to play outside! Where’s the best climbing tree?

Main graphic with a neon green background with black text #12, Ruffled overalls". There are two dolls bracketing the text. One is a lemon double ponytail with blue eyes and #2 head mold. She is wearing blue ruffle corduroy overalls and a white blouse. The other girls is an AA with double ponytails, brown eyes, and rosy cheeks. She is wearing red overalls.

Suggested reading: An explanation of the 1983 series of outfits that the overalls belong to. Jump to: 1983 Series – The 1st CPK Clothes

Original Name: Country Cousin

Corduroy overalls with a ruffle running along the strap and a white blouse underneath. The neck and sleeves of the blouse have coloured rickrack trim. It came with sneakers and socks.

Outfit 12B, KT. A pair of pink corduroy overalls with ruffles around the straps over a white frilly blouse with pink rickrack around the sleeve hems.
Outfit 12B, KT

This outfit was sold from 1983 until 1985, most likely longer. It was sold both on kids and packaged, starting in 1984. There is evidence that some stock of this outfit was still being sold off as separately packaged outfits as late as 1987. (Ref#4, Iss. 5, p.4)

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, 1983 Series – The 1st CPK Clothes

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. you have a 12B KT that is green, not pink) 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.

This outfit does not appear to have been made by the primary factories CC or SS.


> The following are observable differences between outfits produced at various factories.

  • fabric colour/shade
  • fabric type (various textures)
  • location of silk CPK label on the bib

> Mimic outfits:
Outfit #626, the Velveteen Overalls, came out in 1986ish and is a pair of velveteen overalls with a patterned cotton blouse. There are two versions.
Outfit #147 is a Transitional outfit that I believe only came packaged.
The Play Along 25th Anniversary version comes only in dark blue.
The 30th Anniversary version only came in purple.

> There were many variations made by foreign factories in a wonderful array of colours. For information on identifying a Jesmar version, jump to Identifying Jesmar Clothing.

There are Tri-ang Pedigree and Tsukuda versions of the Coleco flower-patterned overalls (12H). All three versions are very sought after, the foreign more than the Coleco.

12H – Coleco, Tsukuda, Triang Pedigree (Ref#3, p.422)

Other Information

> The straps of the overalls are generally the same colour as the rest, but we have found some which are white cotton, and in at least one case, navy blue corduroy. There is currently no pattern that can provide a reasonable explanation for this.

> A few outfits (a very rare occurrence) have been found with circular snaps used at the legs and to secure the straps. Both recorded examples are from Hong Kong Kids, one KT and one P factory. (Facebook Conversation, Mar 2022) It has been confirmed that if these are only Hong Kong outfits, they moved on to buttons and velcro even before the HK outfits stopped being produced.

> The silk tags on the bib of the OK overalls are always located right along the seam. Other factories have it up, away from the seam.

> Jump to Unique Accents: PMI for information on the rick rack around the sleeves.