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union label

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The contents of a vintage pocket and the dating of vintage


I have a box of interesting items found in vintage pockets and purses. I’ve never found the elusive hundred dollar bill or diamond ring, but there have been lots of tickets, invitations, candies, notes and handkerchiefs...even a citation for prostitution! 

Last week, I found these in the pocket of a beautiful 1970s Pendleton coat—


The date on that lower right coupon? 1979. (Just for fun, I tried to use the coupon at my local Fred Meyer yesterday, and raised a minor ruckus!)

 

Just a few weeks before I came upon this groovy bag—


If you look very carefully, you can see dated signatures on it. I’m picturing the end of a high school year and friends signing each other’s yearbooks—only in this case, it was her bag.


This dress (in my Etsy shop), came with a note attached—




As did this hat—




This linen clutch bag is a veritable time capsule, with its contents dating from 1940 and 41. 



I wish all vintage pieces had a date somewhere on or with them!

Two vintage labels I have found to have dates at least during some years of their history are B.H. Wragge—

    

and Marimekko— 



Union labels help with dating. Check out the Vintage Fashion Guild’s ILGWU page for photos of the labels used and their dates. I recently ran across the Cornell University ILR School webpage with even more detail on union labels and dating.

Maybe we should all attach a dated note to our favorite clothing—that, or leave a grocery store coupon in a pocket!  


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Look for the Union Label


Thanks to legions of union garment workers, we once had a thriving clothing industry in the United States, now mostly off-shored. In the 1950s for instance, most of what was available to wear in the U.S. was made in the U.S., from the raw materials to the textiles, designs and finally to the finished products. Union tags will let you know that fairly-paid garment workers (primarily women) made the items.


By comparison: Green America’s Retailer Scorecard gives Wal-Mart an F, J.C. Penney a D-, and Target a D+ for their use of sweatshops and forced child labor. In choosing a vintage article you not only recycle it for current use, but you can be fairly confident that it was made with better values in its day.


The delivery may be outdated in this 1978 ad, but the message sounds right on now:



Look for the union label

When you are buying a coat, dress or blouse.

Remember somewhere our union’s sewing

our wages going to feed the kids and run the house,

We work hard but who’s complaining.

Thanks to the I.L.G. we’re paying our way.

So, always look for the union label,

it says we’re able
to make it in the U.S.A.




You can still look for those union labels in vintage clothing.


Just a few of the choices at denisebrain this week (click any photo for more on the item):









Don’t forget the benefit of a union label in narrowing down the date of your vintage item. Visit the Vintage Fashion Guild’s ILGWU page for the scoop on a number of union labels and their dates. 

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It's Labor Day—have you looked for the union label?


Thanks to legions of union garment workers, we had a thriving clothing industry in the United States, now essentially off-shored.

The delivery may be out of style in this 1980 ad, but the message still sounds right:



Look for the union label
When you are buying a coat, dress or blouse.
Remember somewhere our union’s sewing
our wages going to feed the kids and run the house,
We work hard but who’s complaining.
Thanks to the I.L.G. we’re paying our way.
So, always look for the union label,
it says we’re able
to make it in the U.S.A.


You can still look for the union label, in vintage clothing.
Just a few of the choices with ILGWU (International Ladies Garment Workers Union) labels at denisebrain this week (click any photo for more on the item):







Another benefit of a union label is its help in dating items. Please visit the Vintage Fashion Guild’s ILGWU page for the scoop on a number of union labels and their dates. 

“Symbol of decency, fair labor standards, the American way of life”

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It’s Labor Day...have you looked for the union label?



Thanks to legions of union garment workers, we had a thriving clothing industry in the United States, now essentially off-shored.

The delivery may be out-of-style in this 1981 ad, but the message still sounds right:

Look for the union label
When you are buying a coat, dress or blouse.
Remember somewhere our union’s sewing
our wages going to feed the kids and run the house,
We work hard but who’s complaining.
Thanks to the I.L.G. we’re paying our way.
So, always look for the union label,
it says we’re able
to make it in the U.S.A.


You can still look for the union label, in vintage clothing.
Just a few of the choices with ILGWU (International Ladies Garment Workers Union) labels at denisebrain this week:

1950s to early 60s party dress by Jr. Theme, with the union label used 1955-63
1960s coat with the label used 1963-74
1970s dress with the label used 1974-95

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