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

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

vinyl-covered-davenport

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

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 at 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 foes...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).  

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Pictured above: Vinyl covered davenport sectional/By Screen Grab© 

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 be so fastidious about the household seating.  Was the clean gene merely practice borne 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, it's best left chalked up to 'Different strokes for different blokes...'

Moving along...

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.

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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, (yet again) 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

 


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 September 2014 04:58 )  

 

 

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Halloween

Pictured above: The Haunted Lane/ c1889/LOC VAV!/October 22, 2014 The black as night holiday, Halloween, is celebrated on October 31.  Otherwise known as Hallowe'en, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, Halloween is the time of year when children and adults dress as ghosts, scarecrows, vampires, princesses, or their favorite cartoon character and forage into the night, ringing doorbells and knocking on doors.  While visions of ghastly ghouls, witches, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and hobgoblins dance mysteriously before the celebrant's eyes, they sing out 'trick or treat' in anticipation of the candy that will most certainly fill the bags they carry. While trick or treaters comb the streets today, a succession of Halloween parades unfold elsewhere in cities and towns and Halloween parties take the night with the bobbing of apples and carving out of pumpkins by roaring bon fires! While today, Halloween is an evening of gaiety, that was not always so.  During the 19th century and a greater part of the 20th century, Halloween earned a bad rap as rogues of ne'er do wells and trouble makers roamed the countryside and city raising a not so welcome raucous. Merrymakers began dressing in imitation of evil spirits and ghastly creatures all while performing mischief making activities in exchange for food and drink...a practice called mumming. From this, trick or treating evolved.  For the greater part, the tricks were harmless, but others engaged in a more serious endeavor of vandalizing homes and businesses. As a result, it was not unusual to find a special police force put in place for the sole purpose of patrolling throughout the evening "Nearly all Halloween traditions may be traced to the ancient Celtic day of the dead." What are the origins of Halloween? The origins of Halloween began in an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of the dead. In accordance with the Celtics, their year began on the day that corresponded to November 1st on today's calendar. The first day of the year was the beginning of winter and a time when livestock was kept at closer pastures for the months ahead. As well, the new year was a time when crops were harvested and stored. It was, in short, a day that served as the beginning and ending of an ever eternal cycle. The festival celebrating the first day of the year was called Samhain. The occasion was a very significant holiday, if not the most significant holiday, of the Celts. They believed on Samhain that the ghosts of the dead mingled amongst the living, "because at Samhain the souls of those who had died during the year traveled into the otherworld." - Library of Congress During Samhain, animals were sacrificed and bonfires burned brightly in homage to the dead as they made their final journey into the otherworld, and to keep them at bay from the living. The Celts also believed that Samhain harbored demons, ghosts, and fairies. Samhain has long since transformed into the Halloween we celebrate today.  The transformation came after Christian missionaries attempted to change the religious practices of the Celts and put an end to their "pagan" holidays, such as Samhain.  While sweeping changes were made, in 601 A.D. Pope Gregory the First issued an edict to his missionaries that rather than obliterate native peoples' customs and beliefs,  he adjured them to consecrate it to Christ and allow its continued worship.  Consequently,  the Christian feast of All Saints was assigned to November 1st and the day honored every Christian saint This feast day was meant to substitute for Samhain, and finally,  replace it forever.  While that eradication did not occur, and Samhain never died out entirely, the church tried again to supplant it with a Christian feast day in the 9th century on November 2nd as All Souls Day as a day when the living prayed for the souls of all the dead. Nevertheless, the traditional beliefs and customs lived on, in new guises. All Saints Day, otherwise known as All Hallows, continued the ancient Celtic traditions. The evening prior to All Saints Day was the time of concentrated activity of both human and supernatural entities. People continued to celebrate All Hallows Eve as a time of the wandering dead. As time moved onward, people continued  the legacy of  those spirits' existence (and their masked impersonators) with the practice of  setting out gifts of food and drink. Thereafter, All Hallows Eve became Hallow Evening, which became Hallowe'en. Nearly all Halloween traditions may be traced to the ancient Celtic day of the dead.   The wearing of costumes  and going door to door for trick or treats can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era,  offerings of food and drink were left out to placate the souls of the dead and evil spirits. As time evolved, and centuries lapsed one into another, people began dressing in imitation of evil spirits and ghastly creatures all while performing hi-jinx in exchange for food and drink.   The practice is called mumming, from which the practice of trick-or-treating evolved.   Reference: Library of Congress

 

Oscar de la Renta

  Pictured above:  Oscar de la Renta/Contributed by Screen Grab© "I'm a very restless person. I'm always doing something. The creative process never stops." - Oscar de la Renta VAV!/October 20, 2014 One of the world's premier fashion designers and philantropists, Oscar de la Renta,  died at his home in Kent, CT on Monday, October 20, 2014. He was 82. De La Renta was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Born on July 22, 1932, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Oscar de la Renta was educated at the Academy of San Fernando, Madrid. His undeniable talent for illustration led him to an apprenticeship with couturier, Cristobal Balenciaga.

 

Oscar de la Renta

  Pictured above:  Oscar de la Renta/Contributed by Screen Grab© "I'm a very restless person. I'm always doing something. The creative process never stops." - Oscar de la Renta VAV!/October 20, 2014 One of the world's premier fashion designers and philantropists, Oscar de la Renta,  died at his home in Kent, CT on Monday, October 20, 2014. He was 82. De La Renta was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Born on July 22, 1932, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Oscar de la Renta was educated at the Academy of San Fernando, Madrid. His undeniable talent for illustration led him to an apprenticeship with couturier, Cristobal Balenciaga.

 

Eyeliner History, How To And Eyeliner Tips

VAV!/October 14, 2014 Looking into history, as far back as ancient civilizations, eyeliner, makeup applied to enhance the eyes and give definition, is applied around the contours of the eyes.  Eyeliner has been worn by not only women but by men, as well. In 10,000 BC, Ancient Egyptians, both aristocracy and the lower classes, were adroit in their knowledge of cosmetics... used not only for aesthetics and  for protection from the harsh elements as well as protection from myths and cultural beliefs to include the 'evil eye'. The broad and heavily lined eyes, both upper and the lower rims, were lined using a small stick dipped into a paste made of mineral blends produced from a myriad of materials, including lead and copper ore to varieties of metallics and water.  From these elements, a paste was formed through a grinding process using a vessel known as a Kohl pot. The paste was then applied to the eyes..

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pictured above:  Martin Luther King VAV!/March 17, 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr (January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968)  was a charismatic civil rights leader who fully joined the crusade for equal rights for all people in America during the mid 1950s.  He first came to national prominence as one of the leaders of the Alabama bus boycott in 1955.  In 1963, Dr King led a massive march on Washington DC where he delivered his now famous "I have a dream" speech. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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