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PRE-1940s: French seams were used on turn of the century clothing through the 1940s.French seams are the neatest finish of seams, as the raw edges of the fabric are fully enclosed for clean lines.1930s-1940s: Bakelite buttons are plastic buttons found on 1930s and 1940s garments.Bakelite was invented in 1909 as the first ever synthetic plastic.What you might not know if you are new to vintage drums is that manufactureres did not keep accurate records and inventory control was not part of the daily operations of drum making.One day a box of drum badges could turn up or in many cases new serial number badges were put on top of older serial number badges making it difficult for us today to know exactly when the drum was made.Speaking of thrifting, I’ve also shared clues on how to identify vintage clothing labels in a thrift store and I’ve explained 11 ways to know a piece is vintage by its labels and tags and how the ILGWU union label can help you to date a garment’s era, too.Today’s post is different than the rest because it teaches you five easy ways to identify a garment’s most probable era based on construction details like buttons, zippers, seams, sleeves and lining.
UNFINISHED SEAMS: If the piece has unfinished, frayed seams there’s a good chance it was made before the ’50s since both pinking shears and serger machines weren’t available to at-home seamstresses.
1960s: Serged seams replace the pinked seam in the 1960s.
Serged seams are an overlock stitch that strongly secures the fabric and leaves a zig-zag like pattern behind.
1960s: The zipper is now almost always a center back placement.
Metal zippers begin to be replaced after 1963 with the invention of nylon, which introduces the plastic zipper.