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Thread: JC Penney sold fabric?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    I picked up some fabric at the thrift store today - a green gingham - that still had a JC Penney tag on it. It was apparently a remnant, 1-1/4 yards, with a price of 79 cents. I never knew Penney's had sold fabric - does anybody know when they stopped? I'd like to know if this is a true cotton gingham, too. I'd post a pic, but it's already in the washer. Perhaps later.

  2. #2
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    How interesting.......I'll be curious to see if anyone has the answer.

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltgrammyt2's Avatar
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    Never knew they sold fabric.

  4. #4
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    Yep. Years and years ago. In the 60s I believe. My mom worked in the fabric department of Montgomery Ward's in the 60s.

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I remember Mom mail ordering fabric from Sears, Penny's and Montgomery Ward's.
    When I was 10, she ordered fabric yardage that they offered that matched the bedspreads she ordered for my room. They had all kinds of different collections that belonged to different items they sold.
    I am not sure when they stopped carrying fabric though :D:D:D

  6. #6
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    I used to shop J.C. Penney for fabric with my mother. I bet they haven't sold fabric for about 40 years. I was about 10 when we used to buy remants.

    I'm sure it is 100% cotton.

  7. #7
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    I can remember in the mid-70's when they had buttons and zippers...so maybe they had fabric too...I wasn't quilting back then, so it wouldn't have caught my eye.

  8. #8
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i remember my grandmother buying quilt kits there applique and embroidery blocks for quilts

  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I worked at JC Penneys in the mid to late 70's, around 76 and 77. The fabric dept was still there and even then I bought fabric but for sewing clothes not quilting. I believe it was eliminated right around that time as well. I don't recall them getting rid of it while I worked there so it must have been after I left.

  10. #10
    Super Member happymrs's Avatar
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    Years ago, all the big dept. stores sold fabric, like Penny's & Sears. Use to get really great deals too, especially when polyester was so popular & the thing to make clothes out of...

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltlonger's Avatar
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    Not sure when they stopped but did a lot of fashion fabrics to-wools I bought boxes at a estate sale and a lot was labeled with JC penny's gave away to a woman who did hook rugs with it. Didn't know about felting wool at the time!

  12. #12
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Back in the day all department stores sold fabric. Penney's had a nice fabric department and I got lots of mine there.

  13. #13
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    Yes, Penney's used to sell lots of nice fabric. When I was a child, my mother bought ALL the fabric she used from Penney's. My aunt worked in the fabric department at the Great Falls, Montana Penney's. It was on the mezzanine next to bedding, kitchen & bath towels. The only other place I remember seeing fabric for sale as a kid was at the local Ben Franklin, & the quality was not durable enough for the clothing Mom made us. I wore mostly home-made dresses, & didn't have a coat from a store until I was 10. Mom would even make prom dresses with Penney's fabric from home-made tissue paper patterns after I'd show her what I wanted in a store. She could sew anything, & no one could tell our clothes weren't "ready made". When she taught me to sew, the fabric always came from Penney's. I continued to buy Penney's fabric for clothing when I was in college in the late 60's. I was sorry to see Penney's stop their fabric lines, sometime in the late 70's, I believe. BTW, I'm 64, so that may give you younger readers/quilters an idea of how long ago I was buying sewing material at a Penney's fabric department. LOL

  14. #14
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    I remember buying most of my fabric in the 60's at Penney's. My pinking shears is a Penney's shears. And my bandage scissors (I'm in the medical field) is also a Penney's brand, printed right on the scissors. I think that they stopped selling fabric when they changed the name from Penney's to J C Penney. Maybe early 70's?

  15. #15
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    I to bought all my fabric from Penny's for Home Ec.I graduated in 1972 and they were still selling fabric at that time . Not sure when they stopped selling it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    Wow, very interesting! Thank you!

  17. #17
    Senior Member B. Louise's Avatar
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    I used to peruse the fabric in the Penney's catalog when I was a child, looking for what my next dress might be made of.

  18. #18
    magpiefeather's Avatar
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    For Home Ec all of us would buy fabric from Penneys. I flunked Home Ec and hated sewing! Until quilts that is!

  19. #19
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Yip -- that's where I got my fabric to make baby clothes and bassinette skirt when I was expecting my 1st child....she's now 36. :mrgreen:

  20. #20
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    In 1983 JCPenney announced a $1 billion program to give its stores facelifts and rearrange merchandise. Apparel, home furnishings, and leisure lines would be emphasized, and auto service, hard line appliances, paint, hardware, lawn and garden merchandise, and fabrics were phased out. Its big mass merchant competitors, Montgomery Ward and Sears, continued in these lines.

    http://www.fundinguniverse.com/compa...y-History.html

    Penney's fun facts. Apparently they had fabric until 1983.


    Since gingham can be a blend I would assume the burn test would let you know if it is cotton or a fiber blend. Good luck.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    That was a very interesting link, Murphy, thank you! I will do the burn test - I was just anxious to get it washed.

  22. #22
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I am 45 and can remember going to JCPenney with my Mom and buying fabric. I was very little, around 5 or 6 maybe.

  23. #23
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    I remember years ago when fabric was in all the department stores as well as Kresges (the 'dimestore')

  24. #24
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    This topic brought back a fond memory for me. Thanks. I was just 11 when I started junior high home ec class. We needed fabric for an assignment. I had decided to make a gathered skirt. Since I had to be in school during the day (we went from 8:00 until 4:00 in those days) and Dad worked nights, my parents decided to go to Sears to get my fabric. I was excited to see what Mom bought for me. I was disappointed to say the least. The fabric was a bright blue and it had huge pink flowers all over it. I didn't say a thing because I didn't want to hurt her feelings. She loved it. I so didn't want to take it to school and have the other girls see it, but I had no choice. No one said anything. I made my skirt and did a good job and it fit nicely. Most of the other girls did things like fringing dish towels. How I wish I had that fabric today or even a scrap to remind me of how happy my Mom was when she picked it out and gave it to me. She is my best friend. My DH is my bestest friend.

  25. #25
    Super Member dhanke's Avatar
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    It's been at least 40 years since JCP has had a fabric department, they used to call it dry goods and notions.

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