Fabric foundations 1960s

Canvas at the Fair

The 1964 New York World’s Fair was not an officially sanctioned world’s fair. Boycotted by the Bureau of International Expositions because it exceeded the one year limit imposed on world’s fairs, it quickly became a showcase for American industry with companies like General Electric, Ford, General Motors, Pepsi Cola and DuPont dominating the scene.

Featuring 160 temporary buildings and pavilions, the fair also strongly represented the American textile industry. Cooley Inc., a long-time IFAI member, provided the canvas for many of the fair’s pavilions and umbrellas, joining Glen Raven and Graniteville in coloring the scene with brightly colored textile structures and awnings.


The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act makes it necessary to label the fiber content of fabrics. The act is the result of rapid changes in the textile industry and the creation of synthetic fibers like polyester.

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Yuri Gagarin, flying aboard the Vostok-1, is the first man in space. At 27, Gagarin will become a national idol after spending a mere 108 minutes in orbit on April 12. Image Credit: NASA.

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Stephanie Kwolek develops Kevlar® while working as a research scientist for DuPont. Made by spinning fiber from liquid crystalline solutions, Kevlar is almost five times stronger than steel but has half the density of fiberglass.

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The first Super Bowl, played between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, takes place in Los Angeles, California on January 16. The Packers win, 35 to 10.

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-Jessica Bies