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Catalog Data

Physical Description:
silk (overall material)
palermo blue (overall color)
plain weave weave; crepe (overall production method/technique)
synthetic (overall material)
overall: 36 in x 40 in; 91.44 cm x 101.6 cm
Object Name:
fabric length
Fabric length
Fabric Length
Place made:
United States: New York, New York City
Associated Place:
United States: New Jersey, Allentown
Date made:
William Skinner and Sons blue "Tea Dance crepe" dress silk length; 1934.. Soft, lustrous, reversible, 6 shaft taffeta weave fabric in a finely crinkled effect produced with warp 50/3/3 - 20/22 raw silk, 19170/1; 90 picks, 84 denier crepe 4-thread 20/22 denier silk, 60/65 turns. Piece dyed Palermo Blue. Selvedge says "Skinner's Tea Dance Crepe".
William Skinner emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1843, finding work as silk dyer. He eventually opened his own silk manufacturing company, the Unquomonk Silk Co., making silk threads and yarns for weaving and sewing. In 1874, the mill was destroyed when the Mill River Dam gave way. Skinner moved his company a few miles away, to Holyoke, Massachusetts, and rebuilt the mill, expanding production to include woven fabrics (Skinner satins were nationally famous) and silk braids. He ran the company until his death in 1902, and the firm stayed in the family, and remained in operation in Holyoke, until 1961, when his heirs sold it to Indian head Mills, which immediately closed the Holyoke operation.
Currently not on view
American Textile Industry  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Wiliam SKinner and Sons
ID Number:
Accession number:
Catalog number:
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
American Silks
American Silk Industry
American Textile Industry
Data Source:
National Museum of American History