Orinoka Mills (1890-1989): A Front Runner in The Golden Age of Philadelphia’s Textile Industry

Sierra Jessica Neale
Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice

About this Item

Title
Orinoka Mills (1890-1989): A Front Runner in The Golden Age of Philadelphia’s Textile Industry
Contributor Names
Neale, Sierra Jessica (Author)
George, Patrice (Thesis advisor)
Byrd, Sarah (Thesis advisor)
Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice (Degree granting institution)
Date
2023
Degree Information
M.A. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, 2023
Department: Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
Advisors: George, Patrice; Byrd, Sarah
Committee members: Davidson, Hilary
Abstract
Orinoka Mills was a textile mill founded by the Solomon brothers in 1890 in Kensington, Philadelphia. Orinoka produced a wide variety of woven fabrics during what is considered the golden age of the Philadelphia textile industry. While these textiles can be considered relatively new as historical objects, they are just as important in the history of textiles as those from the previous centuries.

This paper is separated into three chapters; first, discussing the history of Orinoka Mills and Philadelphia’s textile industry, second, an in-depth study of Orinoka mills and lastly, a survey of the archives and the mill’s designs. The primary research for this paper was conducted by interviewing a selection of Orinoka employees from different areas of the business for firsthand perspectives and through reviewing Orinoka Mills’ textiles and paper archives. The intent was to study the history of Orinoka Mills in the context of the textile industry in the twentieth century. Orinoka and other mills in the region made a lasting impact on the textile industry. Their histories are important to document, and examples of their textiles should be conserved and archived today.

The recent history of a U.S. mill is worthy of in-depth study while we still have the opportunity for first-hand accounts from designers, managers, customers, and trade journalists. Studying and publishing more literature and scholarly sources on these contemporary woven textiles will be an invaluable source for students, museum visitors and industry professionals. As an example, Kravet. Inc. presented an exhibition of textiles from its archive collection at the New York School of Interior Design in 2019 featuring multiple Orinoka Mills textiles and related objects. Phyllis Greer stated in her review of the exhibition Every New Textile Has a History ”Though we might not think of these items as rare historical documents now, someday they will be. Many of these items show the process and communication behind the designs.”
Keywords: Jacquard weaving; Kravet; Langenthal; Orinoka Mills; Philadelphia; Textile mill
Subject
Textile research
United States--History
Design
Jacquard weaving
Orinoka Mills
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Textile factories
Rights
In Copyright
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Identifier
FIT Repository ID: etd_000945
ISBN: 9798379899080
pqdiss: 30522627
Related Materials
Also available from ProQuest
Type
Text
Thesis
Language
English
Publisher
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

Citation

Neale, S. J. (2023). Orinoka Mills (1890-1989): A Front Runner in The Golden Age of Philadelphia’s Textile Industry [Master's thesis, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York]. FIT Institutional Repository. https://institutionalrepository.fitnyc.edu/item/120833
Neale, Sierra Jessica. Orinoka Mills (1890-1989): A Front Runner in The Golden Age of Philadelphia’s Textile Industry. 2023. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, Master's thesis. FIT Digital Repository, https://institutionalrepository.fitnyc.edu/item/120833
Neale, Sierra Jessica. "Orinoka Mills (1890-1989): A Front Runner in The Golden Age of Philadelphia’s Textile Industry." Master's thesis, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, 2023. https://institutionalrepository.fitnyc.edu/item/120833