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Conversational Threads

the 50s

mygaley | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Around 1956-59 ready-to-wear was selling women’s jackets that were white, fleecy-looking jackets.  The models I remember were swing jackets.  They were lined with some kind of silky lining.  What do you think this fleece-like fabric was?  It wasn’t curled like fake Persian lamb, it could be snagged, and if you got it dirty, throw it away.  I think this was about the time the ban-lon and that type fabrics were new, and I think it might have had a knit backing.  Was this precursor to our modern fleeces?  Anyway, we looked great with our cateye glasses, full petticoats and these jackets!


  1. susanna | | #1

    I am guessing: was it orlon? I had one of those jackets as a grade-schooler. I think the lining must have been nylon. I wore it to Sunday school, and I also wore a hat shaped something like a boomerang on little legs, made out of some kind of stiff thick netting weave, trimmed in fake posies. Mucho charming with my cateye specs.

    I love orlon and still search for socks made out of it, but hardly ever find them.

    What IS orlon, anyhow?

    1. User avater
      paddyscar | | #2

      "I also wore a hat shaped something like a boomerang on little legs"  Thank you Susanna - just about fell off my chair laughing at your description!  :))  Thing is, I knew exactly which hat you meant.

      I had a boat-neck sweater made of this soft, long hair fabric and it was Orlon.  It was one of the first things (early 60's) I bought with my babysitting money.  You had to wash it by hand, couldn't wring it out very much because it would permanently crease the fibres, took a month of Sundays to dry out and then you could comb it to return it to its original glory!

      Orlon was a trademark name for a synthetic fibre, patterned on the word nylon, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

      And don't forget Banlon! 


      1. mygaley | | #3

        Thank you susanna and paddyscar for your replies.  I guess we all know how old we are now!  :)  mygaley

        1. mem | | #5

          I lusted after a hat just like that but my mother insisted on buying me a pale blue straw boater hat with a matching grograin ribbon trim . I also wanted the patent leather shoes ,but no, I got quality leather T bar shoes . I actually looked like "Madeline" . I didnt appreciate any of this and took to escaping out my bedroom window and STEALing my neighbours shoes!!!!! You will be relieved to know that I was 4 and that this phase of shoe napping has passed without a spell in the big house!!

    2. FrancesC | | #4

      Orlon is the trade mark for a wool-like acrylic yarn. It was developed by Dupont. It made beautifully soft sweaters, socks and the like; it had a very "quality" feel. I remember it well. FrancesC

      Edited 10/27/2005 11:42 pm ET by FrancesC

      1. solosmocker | | #10

        I had that hat too! ROTFLMAO, thanks,

  2. Josefly | | #6

    I too had the little hat with legs and mine had a little netting across the boomerang! What fun; I hadnt thought of this in years!

    Was the fabric of the swing jacket similar to the fabric used to make Vellux blankets - kind of plushy, velvety, but not as shiny? I seem to recall that the fabric while soft was rather buoyant, so it stood out from the body a little?

    1. mygaley | | #7

      Thank you for your memories.  It sounds like we all remember this fabric, but no one can identify it.  I'm going to do some more searching around vintage clothing sites.  By the way, my boomerang had had coarse black netting and white fur trim.  Mygaley

      1. B | | #8


        I remember the jackets very well.  Most were made of Nylon fleece, but I made a nicer one of Orlon fleece in senior home ec.. It was a creamier, richer feeling, and much more expensive.  Unfortunately, it disappeared when I left it alone one day.  Anyway, have been thinking of it and even had some leftovers until a few years ago.  It did feel similar to quality fleece and was wonderful.


        1. mygaley | | #9

          Dear B,  It's great to think about the fashions of our early years and even greater to know we don't have to wear them now!  Thanks for your recollection.  Galey

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