Fabric foundations 1980s

IFAI goes to Washington

In February 1985, the newly renamed Industrial Fabrics Association International opened a second office in Washington, D.C. With textile trade deficits at an all-time high and textile and apparel imports at nearly 25 billion, industry growth was down significantly. 

At the same time, Congress was attempting to pass legislation that would set global quotas for textile and apparel imports. Though a bill that called for quota cuts and freezes on textile imports would make it through both the House and the Senate in 1988, President Reagan vetoed it immediately, claiming that it would have “disastrous effects on the U.S. economy.” Attempts to override the veto also failed.  


Mount St. Helens erupts on May 18, becoming the worst volcanic event in recorded U.S. history. More than 50 people are killed and thousands of animals are caught in the nine hour blast.

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Tuff Buks, or the plastic buckle, is developed by Fastex. Unlike steel buckles, they do not freeze, rust or corrode. Strong and lightweight, they are first used in the soft-sided luggage industry.

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The 14-minute music video, “Thriller,” becomes the bestselling music video of all time, further boosting sales for the bestselling album of all time, also titled “Thriller.”

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The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, is opened on Nov. 9 and hundreds of people swarm to pull it down. Intended to keep people from leaving Communist East Germany, the Berlin Wall prevented free movement and emigration.

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-Jessica Bies