Saving the planet... one garment at a time!

... and one upcycle at a time... Welcome to my blog: A place to have an "over the fence conversation" about sewing, altered couture, upcycling, and all kinds of crafts using found objects, beads, ephemera and other vintage finds!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lesson From the Past:3 - Collar Craze

I went to college in the beautiful and historic city of Troy, NY.  Troy has many an historical claim to fame.  It was the home of Uncle Sam, the place of the first publication of A Visit From St. Nicholas ('Twas the Night Before Christmas) and it was the birthplace of the detachable collar.
The detachable collar was first invented in 1827 at #139 3rd Street, Troy, NY, by Mrs. Hannah Lord Montague (1794-1878).  Mrs. Montague was tired of scrubbing her husband's collars.  The inside of the shirt collar seemed to magnetize sweat and dirt, while the body of the shirt remained quite clean.  In answer, Mrs. Montage fashioned a detachable collar so that the shirt could continue to be worn while the collar was removed, and replaced with another, while laundering. Her husband, Orlando Montague, proudly showed-off his wife's invention and soon several commercial concerns embraced the idea, including the Cluett-Peabody Company, makers of the Arrow shirt.  Troy became a major producer of shirt collars for the entire country and earned its moniker as the "Collar City".
Women also embraced this new fashion creation.  Especially in the lean nineteen thirties and forties, detachable collars and faux blouse fronts, called dickies, were used to extend the wardrobe by making it seem as though one owned multiple different blouses.  One could wear one well made dress or suit and change out the collars or dickies for different looks.  Make and Mend for Victory includes several ideas for making these incredible wardrobe stretchers!

1 comment:

  1. That's very interesting. Last summer I made a detachable collar. You can see it here: http://squaregrannie.blogspot.com/2011/04/lauras-collar.html

    The name came from the book The Woman in White that I was reading at the time. I thought the collar might be something that Laura might wear.

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