William Skinner and Sons eggshell silk crepe-backed satin fabric length; 1932


William Skinner and Sons silk satin with a crepe back, eggshell color fabric length; 1932. Soft, lustrous, lightweight satin fabric. Similar to crepe-de-chine on wrong side, but with a satin weave on right. Unweighted. Piece -dyed eggshell color. Selvedge says "Skinner's" woven in the same color as the fabric.

William Skinner, a prominent silk manufacturer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, moved his family and business to Holyoke, MA in 1874. At the time his family consisted of 2 daughters from his first marriage to Nancy Warner, Eleanor Skinner, and Nancy Skinner; along with his second wife Sarah Elizabeth Allen Skinner, and their children, Elizabeth Allen Skinner, William Cobbett Skinner, Joseph Allen Skinner, Ruth Isabelle (Belle) Skinner and Katharine Skinner. With an unlimited source of power and inexpensive immigrant labor available in Holyoke, the silk production and textile manufacturing business grew and profits increased. William Skinner remained at the head of the firm until his death in 1902 when control was turned over to his two sons William C. and Joseph. In 1961 the Skinner family sold the business, with all their trademarks and patents, to Indian Head Mills. The William Skinner & Sons silk and satin mills were earning sales revenues in the millions of dollars and employing over 1,000 people at the time of William Skinner’s death in 1902. As manufacturer of “Skinner’s Satins” he came to be widely known, and his own success was extended philanthropically to Holyoke and its people. The family maintained a residence in Holyoke at their home, Wistariahurst, for eighty years. The Skinners donated the property to the city of Holyoke in 1959. [From the Wistariahurst web site.]

Date Made: 1932

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, HolyokeAssociated Place: United States: New Jersey, Allentown

Web Subject: American Textile Industry


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Textiles, American Silks, American Textile Industry, Textiles


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of William Skinner and Sons

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TE.T06929.000Accession Number: 117978Catalog Number: T06929.000

Object Name: FabricFabric Lengthfabric lengthFabric length

Physical Description: silk (overall material)Eggshell (overall color)crepe-backed satin weave; piece-dyed (overall production method/technique)Measurements: overall: 36 in x 39 in; 91.44 cm x 99.06 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b3-886d-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1161984

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.