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)

Made in USA Outfits – A mystery

Why were USA outfits created? How can you identify them? Find out.

Some outfits have tags with Made in USA on them (or a tag that looks like the ones below). These outfits are structurally similar to some of the original 1983 Series outfits but have differences. No one seems to know anything about this factory. Nothing.

The predominant thought is that the clothing was licensed by Coleco, for production by a US company, to handle the surge in demand starting in 1984. Producing the outfits closer to home would reduce the amount of time to get it to customers, and in theory, cost less. (FB conversation, Jodi’s Punki Patch)

My personal theory is that, as Coleco had several manufacturing facilities in the US (Source), instead of having another company do it, they decided to utilize some of their own facilities to manufacture the outfits. However, having little experience with that kind of toy and lacking access to the right materials, the final product was substandard and did not meet the exact specifications.

I have evidence for USA clothing coming packaged in a 1984 box (although I could not find out if it was sealed), on a boxed kid in 1985 (FB Conversation, Cheyne Wilelm Gosnell, Feb. 10, 2020; Becca Billard, Feb. 10, July 2022), and on twin sets wearing Fun Furs later in 1985 or 1986. (Photo below courtesy of Sabrina Vanessa Adams). If this evidence holds, it means USA outfits are legitimate CPK brands and were sold for at least four years and were included in the mass ‘overstock’ clear out that started in 1985/86 where they began just putting anything on kids to sell them.   

Other Items

Other items that came with the kids (not official accessories or separately sold items made by separately granted licenses) have been found marked Made in USA as well. So far, the astronaut helmets (no matter the country) and all of the glasses that I have available to check, are marked in this fashion. Were they made at the same factory or just by a US factory that was hired to make them?

Identification and Comparison

I have identified six USA outfits; I believe there are likely more, as of yet, unidentified ones. These outfits can occasionally be identified by look, but always by the clothing tag. There are two versions of the front side, but the tags all have the same opposite side. The only difference is that one says, Made in USA, and one does not. However, they are all USA-made clothes.

UPDATE: A USA dress without a tag has been identified. (Becca Billiard, FB, Feb. 10, 2022)

The easiest way to identify a USA outfit, without looking at the clothing tag, is the silk label. The USA labels are canvas-like, larger, and off-white

PIcture of three different 'silk label's used on CPK clothing. The first is a Taiwan factories label, the middle is a China factories label, and the bottom is a USA factory label.
Top: Taiwan factories label; Middle: China factories label; Bottom: USA label

In general, the material used for these outfits, especially the white fabrics, were much thinner and of lower quality. They also used a lace that is different from the Coleco lace.

Close up of the lace on the leg hole of the bloomers from a a USA bib dress in order to see the details of the lace.

Identifying USA Outfits

Shoulder-Tie Dress (#3)

Differences

  • Lace pattern
  • Lace at the sleeves but not on the bloomers
    • Update: A dress that has lace on the bloomers has been identified. So, they may come with or without it.
  • The white fabric is very thin.
  • The collars are all white with white piping (so far).
  • The neck/yoke areas are always white (so far).

Recorded outfit colours

  • Navy blue and white gingham
  • Light blue and white gingham
  • Yellow and white gingham

Frilly A-Line Dress (#4)

Differences

  • They look more like the Coleco A – D outfits with only two lines of lace. However, the main fabric pattern continues between the lace, rather then being white.
  • Lace pattern
  • There is no flower applique.

Recorded outfit colours

  • Baby Blue
  • Beige
  • Light pink
  • Navy blue and white gingham
  • Green and white gingham
  • Pink and white gingham
  • Red and white gingham

Kitty Jogging Suit (#6)

Differences

  • The clothing tags are located in the pants rather than the top, like most outfits.
  • The cat patches are visibly different from the other patches. Jump to Plentiful Patches Pt. 2 for details.
  • So far, all the recorded outfits are made using grey heather fabric, not solid grey fabric.
  • One outfit has been found with two colours of trim; white and light pink. It looks like the arms and pants from one outfit were used with the trunk of another. This may be another example of substandard work.
Photo courtesy of Jaycee Cook

Recorded outfit colours

  • Fuchsia
  • White
  • White and baby pink
  • Purple (need tag to confirm)

Pinafore dress (#14)

This is the outfit that has the most visible differences.

Differences

  • The fabric is very thin. You can almost see through the white section.
  • The collar is decorated with lace, there is no peter pan collar.
  • There is no blue decorative stitching.
  • There is lace on the sleeves but not on the bottoms.
  • There is lace at the waist.

Recorded outfit colours

  • Navy blue and white gingham
  • Red and white gingham

Bib Dress (#15)

Differences

  • Lace
  • Giraffe patch looks different. Jump to Plentiful Patches Pt. 2 for details.
  • These outfit always has a white collar with no piping (so far)

Recorded outfit colours

  • Green and white gingham
  • Pink and white gingham
  • Yellow and white gingham

Stripped Jogging Suit (#18)

Differences

  • There is no piping where the trunk connects to the sleeves and down the side of the pants.

Recorded outfit colours

  • Pink and white
  • Yellow and white
Main graphic to be used in Facebook posts.

 

PTP: Silk Label Secrets

Those little silk labels are holding a secret . . .

The little silk label on most CPK outfits embody a secret. Special thanks to Jodi Punki Patch and her amazing observational skills for catching this and making me look into it more.

Sometimes you can use the silk label to figure out which factory an outfit was made by, to a point. At present, I have found that there are four different labels.

For a list of all the factories that produced CPK material, visit Factories and Companies.

1) Chinese factories use the regular label we are all familiar with.
Factories: OK, P, CC, FW, KT, LF, PMI, SS, WS

2) Taiwanese factory silk labels are larger and whiter in colour.
Factories: AX, CY, EX, FD, IC, UT, WW, HRS

3) Korean factory (IJ, SY) silk labels look like regular Chinese labels, except that they are slightly darker in colour.

4) Outfits from the USA factory have a larger, whiter ‘silk label’ that is made of a canvas-like material.

USA factory silk Cabbage Patch Kid label on a heather grey fabric beside an OK factory silk Cabbage Patch Kid label on a thin yellow fabric.
USA factory Vs. China (OK)

5) Jesmar outfits tend to have a slightly smaller silk label printed in a slightly darker green. Sometimes they are sewn on quite badly. For more information on Jesmar outfits visit: Jesmars and J Clothing

Jesmar silk Cabbage Patch Kid label on an orange fabric beside an OK factory silk Cabbage Patch Kid label on a grey fabric.

#14 Pinafore Dress

Pretty, pretty pinafores!

Main graphic with mustard yellow background and black text that says #14 Pinafore Dress, bracketed by two dolls. The first is a brown haired single ponytail with brown eyes and a paci and the second is a wheat double ponytail with green eyes and #1 head mold. They are both wearing pinafore dresses with various red accents.

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

Original Name: Spring Picnic

Description:
A cotton dress that looks like it has a pinafore over top. The sleeves and bloomers are patterned.  The pinafore section is white with blue thread edging. There are two decorative buttons on the chest of the dress. It generally came with regular lace-up shoes and socks. Very occasionally, they came with Mary Janes.

Outfit 14S, PMI. White pinafore dress with pink and white striped sleeves and matching bloomers. The entire dress is edged in blue snitching.
Outfit 14S, PMI

This outfit was sold from 1983 until 1985, most likely longer. It was sold both on kids and packaged, starting in 1984.

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 14A KT that is green gingham, not solid red) 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.

Variations

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

  • shade/colour
  • colour and pattern of blue stitching
Collage of 4 pictures showing the various stitching patterns and shades of blue used by 4 different factories, OK, KT, PMI, and UT.

> Mimic outfits: Play Along used this outfit on 25th Anniversary Kids. The USA version of this dress was made with very thin cotton and looks quite different from the Coleco version, having more lace and no buttons.

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

There are Tsukuda and Tri-ang Pedigree dresses that are structurally the same as the Pinafore Dress but which are the same pattern/colour all over. (Ref#3, p. 398)

Tsukuda brown haired poodle double ponytail girl with brown eyes and #1 head mold wearing a plaid dress with two buttons on the front and matching bloomers.

Other Information

> Be careful when comparing pinafore dress patterns as many look very similar to each other!
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> Refer to Beneficial Buttons for information on clear vs. white buttons.

#6 Kitty Jogging Suit

These kids can join you on your morning run!

Main graphic with a blue background and white text that says "#6 Kitty Jogging Suit". There are two kids wearing grey kitty jogging suits with kitty applique. One kidis an AA with brown loops, brown eyes and #3 head mold. His suit is trimmed in red. The other has wheat loops, blue eyes and a #4 paci head mold. His outfit is trimmed in purple.

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

Original Name: Lil Jogger

Description:
Grey jogging suit with a patch on the right breast. The patch is generally a white cat. The sleeve, shirt, and pant leg hems are various colours. It came with a white terry cloth headband, sneakers, and socks.

Outfit 6A, KT. Grey jogging suit with blue trim and a cat applique on the left breast. There is a white terry cloth head band above it.
Outfit 6A, KT

This outfit was sold from 1983 until 1985, most likely longer. It was sold both on kids and packaged, starting in 1984.

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 6A OK that is green, not 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

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

  • fabric shades/colour
  • fabric type
  • look of the patch (Jump to Plentiful Patches Pt.2)
  • the patch itself (eg. bear instead of cat)

> The grey fabric came in two variations: solid grey or heather grey.
     

> Mimic outfits: All currently recorded USA versions of this outfit are heather grey and have the factory tag in the pants, not the top.

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

> This outfit was used as a ‘twin‘ outfit by the Tsukuda factory.
     

Other Information

> This outfit came on both boys and girls, depending on the colour.
> This outfit can have a variety of patches instead of the cat. Jump to Plentiful Patches Pt.2

#3 Shoulder-Tie Dress

So many colours, so many variations!

Main intro graphic with a grey background. There two dolls wearing Shoulder-Tie Dresses and the words "#3, Shoulder-Tie Dress". One doll is a butterscotch double braid #2, with blue eyes wearing a blue dress and the other is a red haired double ponytail #5 with blue eyes wearing a yellow and blue dress.

Suggested reading: An explanation of the 1983 series of outfits that the shoulder-tie dress belongs to. Jump to: 1983 Series – The 1st CPK Clothes

Original Name: Summer Sweetie

Description:
Cotton dress with a peter pan collar, ties at the shoulder, attached ‘blouse’ top, and bloomers. The blouse is one colour/pattern and the remainder of the dress and the bloomers are another pattern/colour. The hem of the leg holes and sleeves have matching cotton lace. It generally came with white socks and regular shoes. Very occasionally, they came with Mary Janes.

Outfit 3C, OK factory. Yellow and white gingham shoulder-tie dress with white blouse area with yellow rose buds.
Outfit 3C, OK

This outfit was sold from 1983 until 1985, most likely longer. It was sold both on kids and packaged, starting in 1984.

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 3C OK that is pink and white gingham, not yellow 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 Outfits: There are 2 Coleco outfits that are similar, it was used for aPlay Along 25th Anniversary outfit, and the USA factory produced this outfit.

> There were many variations made by foreign factories. The Tsukuda factory used them on their twin sets. For information on identifying a Jesmar outfit, jump to  Identifying Jesmar Clothing

Clothing Tags: With a code or without?

Not all clothing tags were made equal. Some have codes, some don’t. Which do? Which don’t?

Although MOST Coleco clothing has a code on the tag, not all of them do.

The 1983 outfits have a variety of tags! Each factory had a slightly different look to its tags and some factories changed the look often. After 1985 the tags become more consistent in look and information but there were still variations by factory and over time.

In a previous post, What are Clothing Tag Codes, I noted that some factory codes were put on with stickers so that they were washed off (P, PMI, some IC), some were written on and illegible, and some were stamped on badly. Although these tags are rather rare, they can be annoying. Hopefully, somewhere, you will find the same outfit with a code!

Unfortunately, in some cases, they never put the code on to start with!

The 1983-84 Mess

Some factories like CC, KT, IJ, and PMI always have a code on the tag (if it hasn’t washed off).

Some factories, like the OK and P factories, were generally pretty good with putting codes on their tags, but there are some failures.

For example, early P and OK Hong Kong tagged outfits were hit and miss, and some of the later regular tags did not have codes (pictures below).

Some Taiwanese factories, like IC and AX, put the codes on a few tags.

Some never put a code on their tags. (e.g. UT, HP, EX, SW, CY, FD, WW, USA)

I have also seen tags where they appear to be trying to fix a mistake, or they had run out of a tag. They’ll substitute a different one and then make the correction with a pen or a marker!

Specialty Outfits

Many of the specialty outfits don’t have codes. For example:


Some specialty lines had their own specialty codes.

  • Twin outfits use T1, T2, and T3 to indicate style change, and letters to indicate colour. (TBC in another post.)
  • The Circus kids outfits duplicate the numbers 100 to 105. There are two versions of each costume, A and B.

Later Tags (1985+)

Most tags from 1985 and later have codes. These tags include any numbers 100 and above.

Foreign Factories

From the foreign factories that produced between 1984 and 1985, only Jesmar outfits have tags. (Jump to: Jesmar Tags and Clothing)

After Coleco

As far as I am aware, none of the later companies that produced Cabbage Patch Kids put any kind of code on their tags. At least, not something I know or understand.

For more information . . .

The number/letter codes, jump to: What are Clothing Tag Codes
Where to find clothing tags, jump to: Where are clothing tags located
Information on the numbers in a clothing tag code, jump to: What’s With the Numbers? and Tag Codes Continued: A 2nd Theory
Matching clothing to kids, jump to: A match made in . . . . the factory (Pt. 1)