twill weave; screen-printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 37 in x 36 in; 93.98 cm x 91.44 cm
United States: Massachusetts, Holyoke
United States: New Jersey, Allentown
A sample length of William Skinner & Sons nylon parachute cloth from World War II. A smooth, close, semi-transparent plain weave nylon fabric.; Camouflage design in two tones of green (medium and dark) on a lighter green ground with irregular shaped blotch patterns simulating foliage and according to the original paperwork from the manufacturer, designed as protective coloring for army parachutes.
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.