Thursday, January 3, 2008

twenty-six varieties

The Charlottesville Woolen Mills is mentioned several times in the letters of Booker T Washington. The Mill made the uniform cloth for students at the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in the 1880s. (Dunham)

At the time of the panic mostly plain cassimeres and kerseys comprised the output of the factory, but steps had been taken to add considerable variety. Heavy woolens, fancy cassimeres, flannels, and a heavy uniform cloth called "cadet gray" made their entrance into the mill's offerings. At a state fair in Richmond during the fall of 1874, the mill exhibited over twenty different kinds of prize-winning fabrics; yet these did not include their fall assortment! Three years later, the company displayed twenty-six varieties of cloth. Technical advance had enabled the mill to make summer and winter cassimeres of high quality and to extend the range of uniform cloths. By this date, also, these two groups of fabrics had achieved a considerable reputation "through-out the country" for quality, durability, and fastness of colors.--Harry Poindexter

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