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)

#502 – Country Dress

Quaint, cute, and often confused with a Cornsilk dress of the same name! Count the patches, you’ll see the difference!


Summary of 500s Series outfits and a list of the outfits: The 500s Series

Description

Cotton dress with tights. The dress is a pinafore style, with a ruffle visible at the bottom and a flower patch at the neck. The ruffle and the sleeves are one pattern/colour, and the main portion of the dress is another. There is a curved Cabbage Patch Kids logo on the left side of the pinafore section of the dress. The dress is paired with tights and lace-up shoes.

502D

Coleco started selling this outfit in 1985. It likely ended production no later than sometime in 1986. It may be found on later kids, but this was most likely the company using up old stock.

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. To understand clothing codes, factories, and variations, please refer to these posts: 1st Blog – Why do this project?, What are Clothing Tag Codes?, Factories and Companies

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. You have a 502D OK that is yellow, not purple.) I would like to hear from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details, visit Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Factory Variation

As I only have two factories recorded as producing this outfit, there is very little factory variation to note. The only difference I can observe is a slight variation in how the lace is applied.

Other Information

~ At least two of these outfits came in interesting variations. I have confirmation that 502H and 502J came with two additional versions that had fabric with embroidery patterns on them. They all have the same code and are essentially the same, but the embroidery makes them different. All the embroidered versions I am aware of were produced by the OK factory. The plain versions were produced by at least the OK and IC factories.

~ Another OK difference is the sleeve fabric. Most are regular fabric. A few are more corduroy-like fabric. I’ve seen this with C & K so far.

Similar Outfits

? #167 – Cornsilk Country Dress (Cornsilk Series 1)
Take note of the number of patches and the location of the lace. In this outfit, the bottom ruffle is different than the sleeves.

167K – Photo courtesy of Jamie Osterbuhr.

? #14 – Pinafore Dress (1983 Series)

#14 Pinafore dress

PTP: Pretty Patterns – Lacy White Tights

What’s your lace?

Lacy white tights came with outfits in these three series.

  1. 160s – Cornsilk Series 1: Beautiful Dresses
  2. 718-724 – Cornsilk Series 3: Beautiful Dresses Pt. 2
  3. Satin/Damask twin party dresses
         
         Sateen              Non-Sateen

Apparently, the tights come in a variety of patterns. I have found four patterns so far. I named and numbered them to make it easier to distinguish between them.

Theories

I have several possible theories regarding why there are so many patterns.

  1. They vary based on the factory of production.
  2. They vary based on when the outfit was produced.
  3. They vary based on the series they came in (somewhat related to the factory, but not quite).

What I Know

  • The 160s series was manufactured primarily by the KT factory, but a few outfits were produced by the OK factory. Most of the twin dresses were produced by the P factory, although a few were made by KT, and the 718-724 series was produced entirely by the KT factory.
  • The 160s Series and the twin outfits came out in 1985 and most likely stopped production in 1986. The 718-724 series came out in 1987 and most likely stopped being manufactured by 1988, if not before.

The Problem

I do not have enough data to even guess which theories (or another unconsidered one) are correct. Can you help?

If you have an outfit with lacy tights, and you know it came together as an outfit, can you please send me the following:

  1. Which lace pattern it is (or a picture if it is a new pattern)
  2. Factory of the outfit
  3. The clothing code of the outfit (e.g. 162H)
  4. If it is a twin outfit, did it comes on a set of twins, or an individually boxed kid?
  5. If it is a twin outfit, is it the sateen version or the non-sateen version?

Extra Bit

One outfit comes with BLACK lacy tights, the Girl’s Spanish World Traveler. This outfit was made by two factories. Do you have an OK version to compare to this PMI version? It looks a lot like #3 Trillium above.
Jump to: World Traveler Wear