Jun 162015

Camouflage, or cryptic coloration, is a natural adaptation in the animal kingdom to help animals survive. Camouflage is a technique that began to be used in the military when trench and aerial warfare became part of military strategy, and it is also used by hunters. The term is derived from the French word camoufler, “to disguise.” This technique has been used not only as part of clothing but to hide installations, vehicles and more. Camouflage is an important factor that has played a part during various periods of history.

1898: U.S. troops smeared themselves and their blue uniforms with mud during the Spanish-American War.

1902: The U.S. Army changed its summer uniforms to brown khaki. Their winter uniforms became olive drab. Blue was kept for special occasions.

1915: France was defeated by Germany and abandoned its white gloves and red pants for a new look in the world’s first military team using stealth attire.

World War I: A change in military tactics gave rise to the implementation of tactical dress.

World War II: Military personnel used netting, smoke and foliage to conceal important locations such as airports, oil tankers and factories. Marines in the Solomon Islands wore “frog” patterns. The pattern was also used on shelters and over helmets and ponchos.

An example of World War II era camouflage:
WWII camo

1960s: The “boonie suit” became preferred by military personnel. Also popular were the tiger-stripe pattern and the commercial duck-hunter pattern. Tiger stripe was favored by the Navy SEALs, Green Berets and Special Forces units.

1970s: Camo began to interest the masses. Jim Crumley’s “Trebark” design was featured in almost every outdoor catalog. In the military, the black, brown, green and khaki M81 woodland was developed and became the new standard.

1980s: Camouflage went teen. Two disparate groups, hunters and teenagers, wore various patterns of camouflage. For the military, “Woodland” was officially introduced and was worn in the Grenada Invasion. The “chocolate chip” desert-shaded uniform was used during the Gulf War. It used dark brown and gray with black specs in its pattern. Other versions were developed that offered a muted version.

2001: The Marine Corps used MARPAT, a pixilated pattern of small, square blocks of color. It could be seen in all branches of the military.

2004 and beyond: The Universal Camouflage Pattern was introduced. It was a mix of tan, green and gray that helps soldiers in multiple environments. It was worn during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Afterward, the pattern was subdued, using beige and brown instead of tan and gray, and was used by all combatant commands.

Modern or UCP camo(Universal Camouflage Pattern):
UPC Camo

Currently: New technology affords the ability to hide larger structures from prying eyes and prevents other means of detection. Vinyl-adhesive photographs can conceal bridges from aerial view. New patents use light-emitting diodes and small cameras in their efforts. Another patented fabric prevents the detection of body heat from infrared radar.

Many people wear camouflage colors and prints today. They may like the style or be taking pride in the military accomplishments of our armed forces. The colors and prints can also be found in more obscure neon, hot bright and pink colors and are seen in ready-to-wear apparel and couture. Some of most popular camo prints these days in fashion and hunting are: Mossy Oak New Break-Up, Realtree Hardwoods, Realtree Xtra, Desert Camo, and Military camo and many more. Most of these patterns or trademarked or copyrighted.

Here are a few examples of our camo or camouflage products:

camo examples


Mar 282014

For many workers, wearing the right outfit can make a huge difference between staying safe and putting themselves in danger. Safety apparel and workwear can protect a worker from any number of different dangers. Learn more about the history of this type of apparel and what types are available–that way you can make the right decision about safety workwear for yourself or those who work with you.

The History of Safety Apparel

Since there were workers and clothing, there has been some form of work safe apparel. However, once machine-created clothing and equipment really caught on, safety apparel became more modernized and could better protect workers. For instance, according to Fireengineering.com, fire fighters in the United States first had access to a fire helmet in the 1730’s.

Different Types of Safety Workwear

There are as many types of safety gear available as there are jobs. Doctors wear masks that protect them from germs, construction workers need protective footwear, those who work outdoors may need high boots and thick pants to protect against snake or insect bites and those who are working on the road need reflective garments that allow oncoming motorist to easily spot them–even after dark. The most important thing is that the gear is specifically chosen for the job at hand.

Today, many workers aren’t left to their own devices when it comes to choosing the right safety apparel. There are different codes in place that regulate certain equipment be worn by workers in certain industries. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) dictates this in certain cases. Additionally, many employers have a commitment to safety, so these firms may have even stricter requirements for those who work there.

No matter what industry or what job you have, it is important that you follow safety apparel guidelines. Not only does it protect you from danger–it may be required by law!

May 072013

The textile industry is one of the oldest yet fastest-growing industries in the world; after all, clothing is one of the primary commodities that every person on Earth needs to own. Textile manufacturers do a very good job today producing high quality materials from both synthetic and natural fibers that are offered to the general public. Textile producers, however, did not have an easy trail to follow leading to their success.

Its history

While a lot of struggling people were immigrating to America to start a new life, a small group of these people stood at the forefront and led America through its Industrial Revolution. This group of textile entrepreneurs invented power-driven machinery and developed business enterprises to produce products that had previously been made in low volume in homes and small shops, leading to a factory boom.

The industrialization of textile manufacturing began in the late 1700s in Great Britain when Richard Arkwright invented the “spinning frame” that could turn raw cotton into a mass produced yarn.

spinning wheel

An early Spinning Frame
However, it wasn’t until 1790 that the industry began to spread widely to the United States. This movement can largely be credited to an English-born businessman named Samuel Slater. At the age of 21, Slater had worked in a textile factory for six years and had learned the mechanical details of Arkwright’s machine. He carried this knowledge with him as he ventured out of his country and onto the American shores, confident that he could reinvent the spinning frame and make a fortune for himself.

When he arrived in Providence, Rhode Island, he formed a partnership with the textile-manufacturing firm of Almy & Brown. Slater built the spinning frame based on the Arkwright model just from the details he had memorized. Its first use was on December 20, 1790 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where the waters of the Blackstone River turned the wheels of the mill. The success of Slater’s mill revolutionized the textile industry in America, which up to that point was dependent on cottage workers to produce yarn and thread.

slater mill

Slater Mill Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Because of this innovation, factories in the US began to multiply rapidly, earning Slater the title of “The Father of the American Factory System” as well as “The Father of the American Industrial Revolution.” By 1815, there were already 165 cotton mills operating in New England. These early mills were not large-scale, so New England merchants continued to utilize home workers to weave some of the yarn into cloth for some time after Slater’s innovation.

This video shows an early spinning frame in action at the Slater Mill.
The spawning of other products

The beginning of the 18th century marked the production of textiles made with wool from sheep farms across the midlands in Britain. More than a quarter of the British exports during that time were from the export trade in woolen goods, doubling between 1701 and 1770. Another textile industry that invested in cotton centered in Lancashire showed remarkable growth during that time, although it did not equal the huge value of the woolen trade. Before the start of the 17th century, only individual workers manufactured a somewhat limited number of goods, which were distributed around the country.

In the early 18th century, artisans started to find alternative materials to produce products. They were using silk, wool, fustian, and linen, but all were eventually overcome by cotton, which became the most important textile of the time.

Cotton was first imported into northern Europe in the late medieval period. At the time people did not have any knowledge of where it came from. They associated the material with wool, noting their similarities, they conceptualized that plant-borne sheep must produce it. It was later called “tree wool.” Even Christopher Columbus in his explorations of the Bahamas and Cuba in the late 1400’s, found natives wearing cotton garments. During the late 16th century, cotton became more and more popular as it was cultivated in the warmer regions of Asia and America.

The production of cloth involves not only the growing and harvesting of the fiber or raw material, but the product must then be prepared and spun into thread or yarn, and finally weaving the yarn into cloth. Thereafter, the cloth will be taken to the garment manufacturer. Preparation of fiber will depend on the fiber used, but it can involve retting and dressing. Wool needs to be carded and washed. Spinning and weaving can be similarly done to fibers, as well. Spinning is done by twisting the fibers by hand using a drop spindle or a spinning wheel.

The industry’s forerunners

Eli Whitney invented the modern mechanical cotton gin, which quickly separates the cotton fibers from their seeds, in 1793.
cotton gin

Cotton Gin on Display the Eli Whitney MuseumHere is a brief video history of Eli Whitney and his impact on the textile world:

It was in 1813 that the New England factory systems started to take off when Frances Cabot Lowell, Nathan Appleton, and Patrick Johnson established the Boston Manufacturing Company and opened their first factory, wherein workers operated spinning and weaving machinery. This enabled the home-based workers to shift their jobs from their homes to the factories. Fifteen years later, the company started adding branches throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. By 1840, the Boston Manufacturing Company had gained a great deal of popularity, as others tried to copy their corporate model.

boston manufacturing

Boston Manufacturing Company on the Charles River, Waltham, Massachusetts
Lowell and his team hoped to change the ways of the British industry. Building their facilities in Massachusetts, he hired young and unwed women from the farms of New England. Known as the “mill girls”, they were strictly chaperoned by matrons who established curfews and a stringent moral code for the girls to follow. The mill girls worked 12 hours per day, 6 days per week. Although it was a tedious job, most of the girls enjoyed the independence the mill gave them, in contrast to how they had lived on the farm. Moreover, the wages rose to triple the rate for a domestic servant at the time.

It was also during this time when leaders such as William Gregg of South Carolina established a home-based textile industry, which was resisted by the northern mills. After the Civil War, the south slowly replaced the use of slaves with regular workers. Edwin Michael Holt and his family in North Carolina built a number of mills all over the south at the end of the 19th century, including Glencoe Cotton Mill and mill village, which are still preserved to this day.

Later on, merchants such as the Marshall Fields of Chicago acquired and built mills of their own (Cone Mills and Fieldcrest Mills) so as to better control and regulate the supply.

As World War I took place, several new companies emerged to satisfy the war demand. After the war, imported machinery from Germany and Switzerland started to replace domestic supply.

During the late 19th century, the Made in the USA began to be replaced by a new world order. Because many textile manufacturers aimed to buy from the producers with the lowest cost, most textile companies considered importing from other countries.

Today’s industry

As the 20th century approached, major changes came to the textile industry as innovations allowed textile machinery to create synthetic fiber such as rayon and nylon, which is used in products ranging from pantyhose to toothbrushes.

Acetate was invented in the 1920s. A decade later, polyester and acrylic were introduced. Polyester became more popular in the Unites States than cotton for some time during that century.

By the early 20th century, globalization also led to the outsourcing of textile manufacturing to overseas markets. This created a trend of focusing on white-collar industries for fashion design and retail.

An apparel distributor, Outlet Shirts, specializes itself in the screen-printing and embroidery industry as well as blank apparel. It provides well over 1500 products from brands such as Port Authority Apparel, Port and Company, Eddie Bauer, Nike Golf, Sport-Tek and more. Offering a large selection of wholesale t-shirts, polo shirts, woven, outerwear, ladies styles and many more. Its products are available either blank or embellished with your company or group logo. Its low prices and generous discounts, also includes free shipping starting at $125, will make it easy for any customer to save more without sacrificing quality or service.

The textile industry has come a long way from just old-fashioned machines and factories. It has developed greatly over time, paving the way for companies who produce quality products for their customers. Today, it has become a very essential industry the world could not live without.