There are still companies that do woad-indigo dyeing. Woad creates the indigo pigment and it is considered
by some to be a weed. Its origin is from England; Tender Co. celebrates woad in its native environment.
Tender Co. works with Woad-Inc. in Norfolk to do the actual dyeing.
Woad is not quite as strong as the indigo plant. You need more of the plant to dye with and often an increased
number of dips for a darker blue. Because it is often looked upon as a weed (particularly in the U.S.), it is easy
to pull and make your neighbors happy.
The Hillside is now working with Tender Co. to produce a woad-dyed cloth.
OUR WEBSHOP IS OPEN! CLICK HERE!
So I dyed some shirts to get a better understanding of the way our indigo vat will work when dyeing the Fessler
USA order. Turns out the vat is incredibly healthy. I did one dip for about 40 seconds a shirt and they are all
consistent and about as dark as a normal double dip vat! Below are the test shirts.
So I have been doing a lot of research and exploring the world of textiles that has existed in the Philadelphia/PA
area. Turns out that during the 1800’s Philadelphia was pretty much a textile mill town. The Kensington/
Fishtown/Frankford area was all basically textile based industries. The majority of the development was in the 1860’s.
These are just a few of the Mill layouts in the area. http://www.workshopoftheworld.com is a wonderful website that describes the mills of Philadelphia.
Many of the buildings still exist and were converted into either loft or artist spaces. One well known one is the
Coral Street Arts house.
Besides the mill businesses that are no longer functioning, there are also ones that still do (although the majority
are nowadays outside of the city area). Woolrich is one of the U.S.’ first manufacturers of wool. They still to this
day produce their civil war blanket and also sell the traditional Hudson Bay trading Blanket. They have recently
come out with a new line called Woolrich Woolen Mills.
Glen Mills which was located in Germantown has been since the early 1900’s Wayne Mill’s Co. Inc.
who specializes in industrial cotton twill tapes. They are in business to this day.
Fessler USA is the company we plan to acquire our organic cotton. They are in Deer Lake, PA and do all the
milling in house. Also, SAVA Fashion has their own storefront/sewing room directly above shop on 17th and
Sansom. There still are local sewing facilities all over PA. Gitman Bros. are shirtmakers and have been around
for quite awhile. They have been making well made shirts since the seventies.