Thursday, October 09, 2008

Vintage Sweaters - Dalton Cashmere and Mitin Mothproofing

Dalton Cashmeres was founded in 1951 in Willoughby, Ohio. They were soon known for their high quality cashmere sweaters, which are still sought after today by lovers of vintage clothing. Dalton also made co-ordinating separates, such as skirts, pants, and blouses.

This ad for Dalton Cashmeres appeared in the August 1956 issue of Glamour magazine. "Forward and aft views of Sandra, turtleneck triumph with a rib-bib in 100% imported cashmere, magnificently mated wtih Dalton's own superb skirt of doeskin flannel, or Stroock's pure cashmere or cashmere blend."

This sweater is one piece that looks like two, with the squared off faux opening that accents the ribbed turtleneck. It has 3/4 sleeves and buttons up the back. They've shown it tucked in or out, and given the option of two skirts, one in wool and one in cashmere.

In tiny letters at the bottom of the ad it says, "All Dalton Sweaters and Skirts are durably moth-proofed my Mitin."

I've never heard of Mitin, so I did some research. Mitin FF is a pesticide that works by killing the moth larvae when they ingest and digest the wool protein, which means if you do ever get moths in your closet, they won't be able to do a lot of damage. The chemical is added to the yarn in the dye bath at the same time as any coloring that is being added to the yarn. The mothproofing agent adheres to the yarn in a similar way as the dye does. Mitin FF is relatively harmless if not ingested, and has been used as a pesticide in the United States since 1948 exclusively by the textile industry for mothproofing wool. Laboratory tests have found the chemical to be "low to moderately toxic" and to have "low mammalian toxicity." The use of Mitin FF was outlawed in the UK in 1994 due to environmental concerns about the chemicals present when the dyebaths are disposed of.

Want to read more? Here is the EPA documentation about Mitin FF.

And to learn more about how to store your woolens safely without the use of chemicals, check out's page about storing wool.