Vintage Allies

Sunday
Apr 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Home Interior Vintage Plastic and Vinyl Furniture Slip-covers Were King (kind of)

Plastic and Vinyl Furniture Slip-covers Were King (kind of)

plasticfurniture3

VAV!/April 9, 2012

Tried, tested and true...industrial grade plastic and vinyl furniture slipcovers!

Think back to your earliest memories or stories told to you by those who lived large in the generations of the 1950s and 1960s.  Chances are great, you'll either recall or be well informed about the once common practice of covering the household upholstered furniture with furniture covers (or slip-covers) made from transparent industrial-grade plastic or vinyl.  Actually, for some, the mere mention of vinyl slip-coverings brings vivid and immediate creaking, squeaking, sticky childhood images to mind...

Let's take a moment to ponder,  what most likely started the common practice or tradition of slip covering furniture among our forbearers. What was  'THAT' industrial-grade plastic or vinyl in the first place?

'THAT' plastic or vinyl furniture covering, sold to the discerning consumers by tailors and some larger department stores, went a long way to ward off the occasional unwanted stains, wear, tear and overall misuse from man, woman, children, animal, mineral, plankton, and all foe...thus extending and preserving the beauty and life of furniture forever (and ever). In short, the plastic/vinyl coverings protected and defended the integrity of household furniture, otherwise known as 'company furniture'.  Now, we all know, 'company furniture' was largely reserved for the seating of special guests on holidays, visiting royalty, or the foreboding members of the Parents Teacher Association (PTA).  

vinyl-covered-davenport

Pictured above: Vinyl covered davenport sectional/By Screen Grab© via Retrogasm and Pinterest

Looking back through the decades to the vinyl slipcovering's heyday, one may wonder in awe at the consumer's very roots and motivation to cover furniture in vinyl, afterall.  Was the practice out of a generational or cultural phenomenon?  Perhaps the frugality driven consumer was merely showing a display of fashion savvy, intermingled amidst an act of random obsession for cleanliness.  Looking further, what of a possible anal-retentive gene gone wild?  The answers to the questions are all subjective and debatable though assuredly, whatever the case, its best left chalked up to 'Different strokes for different blokes...'

Over time and as a matter of course, while some had revered those transparent plastic/vinyl slipcovers and considered them kingly supreme, others found them annoying, distracting, squeaky, sticky and uncomfortable to sit on (not to mention tacky... but we will) especially on hot summer days.

plasticfurniturecover

Where are those vinyl slipcovers today?

Sometime during the 1960s, the custom of vinyl and plastic slip-covering saw a decline as technology in modern upholstery fabrics proved more resistant against dirt and far easier to clean.  Looking back, the legendary vinyl/plastic furniture covers always kept furniture looking its best, no doubt, however most homeowners today are thoroughly content to leave them as a distant memory from the past.  

Throughout every generation, the use of slip covers remains hugely popular, though.  The current custom calls for casual, yet chic slipcovers. They're found available in a variety of colors, materials and designs, while offering a quick 'pep up' to household furniture and offering a renewed and revived look for each season.  

One more thought on vinyl/plastic coverings...

While we've haven't yet delved into other uses of vinyl and plastic heretofore in this article, we'll remind you that yesterday's customs also dictated the practice of draping vinyl runners on household rugs or plastic protectors on lamps, drapes, or automobile seats and visors. Oh, sure the list goes on and on, but  if you're smiling about now and feeling superior to the practices of decades gone by, don't be too hasty to gloat.... today, consumers are still placing protective vinyl and plastic atop their iPads, iPods, iPhones, keyboards, laptops, calculators,  and more.  That's an article for another time...

 

 

*Song from Sam Cooke by brother Charles "LC" Cooke. - You Send Me


blog comments powered by Disqus
Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 March 2014 06:24 )  

 

 

Like us on Facebook!

Stock Trader Scroller

Powered by Stock Market News and Money Transfer

 

April 20 On This Day In History

Pictured above:  Halley's Comet VAV!/April 20, 2012 "Now we add radio sight to sound. It is with a feeling of humbleness that I come to this moment of announcing the birth in this country of a new art so important in its implications that it is bound to affect all society. It is an art which shines like a torch of hope in a troubled world. It is a creative force which we must learn to utilize for the benifit of all mankind." - David Sarnoff 1769 - Chief of the Ottawa's killed by an Indian in Cahokia, Illinois. 1777 - New York adopted a new constitution as an independent state. 1796 - Congress authorizes completion of 3 frigates. 1818 - Congress passed a protection tariff legislation.

 

April 19 On This Day In History

Pictured above: Cast from "Father Knows Best" VAV!/April 19, 2012 "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away." - General MacArthur 1775 –  The American Revolution began after fighting broke out at Lexington, MA. 1782 – John Adams secured the Dutch Republic's recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, Netherlands becomes the first American embassy. 1783 - George Washington proclaimed the end of hostilities. 1802 - The Spanish reopened New Orleans port to the American merchants. 1852 - The California Historical Society was founded. 1861 - Thaddeus S. C. Lowe traveled 900 miles in nine hours in a hot air balloon from Cincinnati, OH, to Unionville, SC. 1861 – During the Baltimore riot of 1861, A pro-Secession mob in Baltimore, Maryland, attacked United States Army troops marching through the city. 1861 - President Lincoln ordered blockade of Southern ports from SC to Texas.

 

April 18 On This Day In History

Pictured above: Ruins of San Francisco, from the Site of the Mechanics' Pavilion,San Francisco, California, copyright 1906/Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851-1991/LOC VAV!/April 18, 2014 {play}images/audio/GGPM.mp3{/play} Above:  Actual recorded sound of an earthquake 1676 - Sudbury, Massachusetts attacked by Indians. 1775 -Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Mass., warning American colonists that the British were coming. "The British are coming!" 1796 - In New York City, the first Opera 'The Archers', was composed. 1806 - The Non-Importation Act was put in affect. 1831 - The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa was officially opened. 1846 - R.E. House received a Patent for the telegraph ticker.

 

Connie Stevens - Irrepressible

  Pictured above:  Connie Stevens VAV!/April 17, 2014 Connie Stevens, born Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia on August 8, 1938 in Brooklyn, NY, has a career that spans well over 30 years. She is a motion picture star, television star, Broadway star, recording artist, director, producer, and humanitarian who was bebopping all over the 1950s and 1960s since she first sang in a group called The Three Debs at age 16. She recorded far out way cool tunes in the early sixties, to include "Kookie Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)", and the number one record in the country in 1961, "Sixteen Reasons".

 

April 17 On This Day In History

Pictured above: Author, Thornton Wilder as Mr. Antrobus in The Skin of Your [Our] Teeth, Carl Van Vechten, photographer, August 18, 1948/LOC VAV!/April 17, 2013 1492 - A contractual agreement was signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, granting Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia. 1521 - Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church after refusal to admit charges of heresy. 1524 - Navigator, Giovanni Verrazano, reached New York Harbor. 1629 - Horses were imported into the colonies by the Massachusetts Bay Colony on this day.

Follow Us On

Vintage Allies on Facebook.com Vintage Allies on Twitter.com