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Fabric Friday: Alaskine

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Workshops - specialty vintage topics' started by denisebrain, Jan 7, 2022.

  1. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG Vice President Staff Member VFG Past President

    If you are fond of 1960s fashion, you will know the fabric I'm highlighting this week from the VFG Fabric Resource. That is, you will probably know the look, but you may not know the name...

    Lustrous and relatively crisp fabric of 35% silk and 65% wool, with the silk in the warp and the wool in the weft. The name Alaskine was trademarked in 1960, although used commercially starting in 1956. The trademark was cancelled in 2001. The elegant fabric was especially popular in the 1960s.

    Uses: Suits, formal wear, dresses

    This is a close up. The wool is the thick weft, the silk is the fine warp.

    Once you know this fabric, chances are you won't have trouble recognizing it. It has a rich dull luster and finely ridged surface. The clothing cut from it is always structured looking and usually elegantly simple. It's never flowing, frilly, light, tight, etc. I should say, if there is a frill on an Alaskine dress, it will be of another fabric.

    You can see how it would have fallen out of favor in the 1970s. Searching newspapers of the time, you can see that Alaskine has gone from suiting the ingénue to the mother-of-the-bride by the late 1960s.

    This suit, by Oleg Cassini, was worn by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961 and '62. It is in the John F. Kennedy Museum Collection. Alaskine is SO Jackie Kennedy.


    This is from Dior (Saint Laurent) in 1958

    These photos are of one of my previously sold Alaskine coat and dress sets.


    Any thoughts?
  2. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer VFG Member

    Alaskine was really a wonderful 60s fabric--nice structure without a lot of interfacing.
    denisebrain likes this.
  3. Vinclothes

    Vinclothes Alumni +

    Why do you think it has not come back into favor? Is it even available anymore? I liked it.
  4. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG Vice President Staff Member VFG Past President

    I like it too Marian! I imagine it would be very costly now. I'd like to see some of the new runway items in this, although modified to accommodate the stiffness of the fabric.

    Screen Shot 2022-01-07 at 5.08.21 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2022-01-07 at 5.11.01 PM.png
    Michael Kors

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