Shrinkage used to be a big problem with new clothing — especially if a cotton garment puckered and got tighter after washing, and kept shrinking with subsequent washes.
“…New Sanforized-shrunk process by which chic new cottons and linens are completely shrunk so that they absolutely cannot shrink no matter how often you tub them.”
In 1930, Sanford Cluett devised a method for pre-shrinking fabrics without giving them that “limp washrag” look.
“Basically, he designed a machine on which cloth passed over a contracting elastic felt blanket where the pulling action during manufacturing was adjusted by a pushing action…. This process was named Sanforized in his honor [the d was dropped], registered in 1930 and ultimately became a worldwide famous trademark.” — Pamela Snevily Johnston Keating, quoted by info.fabrics.net
Many textile manufacturers were already using the Sanforizing process by 1933:
The cooperation of advertisers and editors in fashion magazines is nothing new. Delineator magazine was published by the Butterick Publishing Company, and all the fashions sketched for this ad were made from Butterick patterns.
Not all these patterns were also featured in fashion illustrations in Delineator, but I did find some:
It looks so different that I wondered if the pattern number was printed correctly, but in this enlargement I see the same three-button closures at shoulder and hip:
Obviously, washable, shrink-proof clothing for children was a great improvement! Butterick illustrated number 5153 on a slightly older girl. It’s still very appealing:
“It’s a dress you 12-year-olds can make yourself!”
Pattern 5159 was for younger girls:
A Swatch of Sanforized Fabric and a Doll Clothes Pattern
Not forgetting that most girls like dolls, and finding a very clever way to encourage women to order a sample of Sanforized fabric, the ad offered a pattern for doll clothes:
I haven’t found a specific Butterick pattern with those three ingredients — perhaps it was exclusive to this offer — but there were plenty of Butterick doll patterns available:
Those may not be “real sailor trou[sers]” as known in the navy, but they are definitely 1930 chic!
Let’s “give three cheers and one cheer more” for Mr. Sanford L. Cluett and his Sanforized fabrics!