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Catalog Data

Physical Description:
nylon (overall material)
greens (overall color)
twill weave; screen-printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 37 in x 36 in; 93.98 cm x 91.44 cm
Object Name:
Fabric sample
fabric sample
Fabric Sample
Place made:
United States: Massachusetts, Holyoke
Associated Place:
United States: New Jersey, Allentown
Date made:
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.
Currently not on view
Related event:
World War II  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of William Skinner & Sons
ID Number:
Accession number:
Catalog number:
See more items in:
Home and Community Life: Textiles
American Silks
American Silk Industry
American Textile Industry
Data Source:
National Museum of American History