About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

Click on Products to browse hand-crafted scarves, bags, and jewelry from India for sale.

From my collection to yours: Check out Joyatri on Etsy shop.


Please do leave a comment and let me know that you stopped by! I love hearing from you.

Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)



“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin




Why Vegan?



 Follow me here:


Joyatri is on Spy Girl's Digital Catwalk

I hang out here:

« Style Imitating Art: Captain America by Alex Gross | Main | Austere tea party, anyone? »

Guilty pleasure: polyester

For many folks, ‘polyester’ conjures up images of powder-blue leisure suits, Ban-Lon pants and the John Waters’ cult film. Or the cheap, flimsy, woven fabric that many clothes are made of nowadays. But, I like to think of the easy-care, flattering, polyester double knits that were lauded in fashion magazines of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Knit-Away, Inc. ad from Seventeen Magazine, August, 1971These thick, textured knits were available in a huge array of patterns, made possible because of new computer programmed knitting machines. And they were marketed directly to home-sewers.

I recently thrifted a pair of polyester pants with an orange, red and blue print and I’ve been wearing them a lot. Here’s a detail of the print.

OMG, in posting this, I just realized that these are crazy clown heads! Some are wearing hats and some aren’t. Please tell me you see it too?

Worn with the “jerkin” I altered recently, thermal underwear shirt, and calico scarf – all thrifted. Vegetarian Shoes Fleur boots. Rajasthani wedding bangles purchased in India.Thrited calico scarf. Yeah, it has a couple holes but I couldn't resist the pattern and colors. Rajasthani wedding bangles.Pants cuffed to show purple Vegetarian Shoes paratrooper boots. Coat purchased at Greenwich Market, UK. Scarf purchased at a yard sale.  Yesterday, this look prompted a hipster 40-something man at Whole Foods to say, “I like your colors!”

I was intrigued by the fabric care label sewn into what are obviously home-stitched pants. Being a nerd, I had to research fabric care labels.

I especially like the courteousness of the label: “Wash as often as you like by machine or hand.” The RN number is registered to Universal Knitting Mills, Inc. in Florida. Vintage clothing aficionados know that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued the Care Labeling Rule in 1971. According to Textiles by Norma Hollen and Jane Sadler (4th ed. 1973), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued rules that “require that textiles used by home sewers for apparel must be accompanied by care labels that the consumer can affix permanently to the finished product.” (p. 3) Not having seen this before, I looked at the FTC’s website and see that the current rule is that textiles for home use have to have the fabric care instructions on the end of the bolt. If anyone has clarification on when care labels for fashion fabrics were no longer required (or if they, in fact, weren’t ever required), please let me know.

I recently looked through American Fabrics magazine from the years 1968 to 1972. American Fabrics was an industry magazine that featured the latest designs accompanied by fabric swatches as well as articles on trends and technology. Here’s a sampling of the polyester double knits I covet.

Contemporary Paisley by Waumbec Mills, from American Fabrics, Spring, 1969. Heraldic Print Knit by William Heller, from American Fabrics, Fall, 1969. Persia in a Single Knit by Cohama, from American Fabrics, Summer, 1970.Maybe I'll find a "Scary Clown Head" swatch the next time I'm at the library looking at American Fabrics.

I proudly wear 'clown pants' -- and they've already proven their eye-catching qualities so I'm linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday. Do check out the stylish folks there.

Reader Comments (15)

I now have something new to covet: American Fabrics. Do you own it? Wow.

Yes, there are clowns on that fabric. You are not imagining it.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte Issyvoo

OMG, I see them! But only if you look really closely. :) Great finds - the scarf is especially beautiful. Love the "wash as often as you like" bit too. P.S. I may need to see the cover of that Seventeen mag you mentioned on GQ!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrunge Queen

I DO see the clown heads, now you've pointed them out! What great trousers. I don't know why people are so snobbish about polyester fabrics, there are some great prints and really good quality vintage polyesters out there. I just bought some from the flea market actually, and I trying to get up the courage to make a dress with it (scared I'll screw it up and waste the fabric, so I'm procrastinating!)
The hipster guy was right, those bright warm colours are gorgeous and suit you really well. Love the pattern on your scarf.
I don't know anything about the homesewn care labels thing, but I love the idea! I have seen little personalised labels in handmade vintage items with the sewer's name on, which always really appeals to me. xxxxx

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCurtise

I see them!
What glorious pants, I wish I'd seen them first! they look so good on you with your jerkin, kick ass boots and pretty scarf. I'm mad for that trouser suit, too. No wonder the hipster complimented you!
Those polyester snobs think vintage is a 1950s repro dress - I'm glad they do, all the more bargains for those of us with taste! xxx

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVix

I was swithering over a pair of purple boots on Ebay this morning, you may have just persuaded me :)

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterV*A*L*

I see them too, and they're a little scary! But your look is not - it's great and colorful. I remember wearing those fabrics as a young woman and they were indestructible, truly wash and wear. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, you look terrific.

I see them too. I like the idea of secret clown heads on clothes.
And purple boots - I love those. I

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

I see the clown heads, too! How funny! I once saw a tie that had small random blobs that were actually clusters of spidery lines. If you looked closely they spelled out F*** you! It was worn by the husband of a co-worker, and he hadn't seen it when he bought it. I wonder if there are other weird subliminal things in patterns.

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVal Sparkle

I just wrote a lengthy comment and destroyed it with the push of a button!! Argh. To paraphrase: you look great, I ADORE the bangles, love the sample swatches, and was thrown into a time warp when I read "Fortrel Polyester". I remember that stuff, specifically the Fortrel part.

So good to see you. Are you back in the States now? XXOO

Yes yes YES, I see them! Those are some AWESOME pants!!!
Labels are fascinating, Thank goodness someone has the nous to look them up!

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelga

That's just fun-creepy. I didn't note the clown head until you mentioned it! EWWWWWW. But such a fun post. You look cute, of course. I especially like the first fabric add! Takes me back.

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan Graham-McMillen

That print is terrific, and is exactly the type of thing I loved as a teen in the early 70s. I'd go fabric shopping with my mom and the weirder the print the better I liked it.

That is really interesting that there is a care label in a home sewn garment. I know that some of the more expensive fabrics - like Pendleton and Liberty of London - gave out labels with a fabric purchase, but I've never seen one in a poly garment.

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie

That's too funny about the clown print. They disguised him so innocent people would buy the fabric. Ha! Regardless, the pants look great as part of your ensemble. It can be your little secret.

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpao

At first I just saw some print on the pants but after you told there were clowns, yes indeed, there they are! What a lovely print! The scarf's print is also amazing.

April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOlga

Yes, saw the clown heads immediately. SCARY! What if one was innocently wearing them, waiting nervously for an appointment, looked down, and discovered... CLOWN HEADS! The things that surface designers did in the 60s + 70s -- many were partaking of those "funny cigarettes" I'm sure!

That swatch magazine looks fascinating.The writing is hysterical! Wonder if any of the libraries around here have it...

April 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranne the SpyGirl

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>