Fabric bundle, 1990s


Workers in the El Monte sweatshop used bundles of fabric such as this to create cheaply produced goods. The bundle was seized during a well-publicized 1995 sweatshop raid and is part of a larger Smithsonian collection of artifacts documenting apparel industry sweatshops, focusing on the El Monte operation.

On August 2, 1995, police officers raided a fenced seven-unit apartment complex in El Monte, California. They arrested eight operators of a clandestine garment sweatshop and freed 72 workers who were being forced to sew garments in virtual captivity. Smuggled from Thailand into the United States, the laborers’ plight brought a national spotlight to domestic sweatshop production and resulted in increased enforcement by federal and state labor agencies. The publicity of the El Monte raid also put added pressure on the apparel industry to reform its labor and business practices domestically and internationally.

Date Made: Late 20th Century1990s

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: State of California. Department of Industrial Relations. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1996.0292.07Accession Number: 1996.0292Catalog Number: 1996.0292.07

Object Name: fabric bundle

Physical Description: cotton (overall material)plastic (part: material)paper (label material)Measurements: overall: 9 1/2 in x 26 in x 12 in; 24.13 cm x 66.04 cm x 30.48 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-acdc-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1431942

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