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Paper Dress, A Unusual Recycled Commodity

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'The Clothing Paper Caper, A Fad From The Sixties'

Paper clothing, in the form of women's dresses and other clothes made from disposable cellulose fabric, was a short-lived fashion novelty item in the United States in the 1960s.

Individual paper and papier-mâché clothes and accessories (especially masquerade costumes) were used as early as the 19th century. But mass-produced paper fashion was invented by the American Scott Paper Company in 1966 as a marketing stunt. Customers could send in a coupon and $1.25 to receive a dress made of "Dura-Weve", a cellulose material patented in 1958.

These "Paper Caper" dresses, which featured a red bandanna print or a black and white op art pattern, kicked off a fashion craze. 500,000 of them were produced, and other manufacturers soon followed suit. By 1967, paper dresses were sold in major department stores for about $8 apiece.....

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Comments

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RebeccaB

We didn't have a photo in them that I remember. I recall that the paper was like a thick paper towel, we probably "recycled" them, LOL.

jlou

Thanks for sharing that story about your paper dress RebeccaB.
I had not met a soul until now, who mentioned having one.
I wish you had a photo of you and your sis that you could share,
wearing your paper dresses. What a memory! And neither one of
you saved your dress?
Hugs, jlou

RebeccaB

My Aunt gave my sister & me paper dresses. Mine was black & white checks (oh to have the figure that could still wear that today!) In putting it on I tore the shoulder a bit, and thought "Neat! A bit of scotch tape & it's fixed!" I went to some outdoor event, and a boy came up to me & asked "Is your dress made of paper?" I said yes, how did you know, and he pointed out that the sun was glinting off the tape! After that I felt very vulnerable and don't think I wore the dress again. Those were some crazy days.

jlou

Oh, Sweetie, it is so nice to see your face! Thanks for sharing. I know,
I have been there time and time again. My cousin and I were just
speaking of that last night over the phone. You are young yet, but
I am not, and no way jose......
Hugs, jlou

jlhdavis

Hi Jan, thanks so much for your kind thoughts and words. I am doing well and working to heal and re-build. Best, Jill

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