Barbizon: Textile Innovators

posted in vintagesliphistory

If you're a vintage lingerie collector or aficionado it's likely you already own at least one piece from the prominent American label Barbizon. The well known company was established in 1933 as a lingerie manufacturer specializing in rayon nightgowns and slips. The brand distinguished itself not merely by its classy signature designs but also by its tireless innovations in textiles and fabrics. Unlike some other lingerie labels, Barbizon focused not only on design but also developed their own materials for their products. The Barbizon laboratories invented a number of synthetic blends trademarking them all under romantic and cheeky names like Satin de Lys, Tafredda, Feathaire and Crepe Remarque.

 Vintage 50s Barbizon Tafeddra Slip

The 50s "Saucy" style slip from Barbizon made out of their very own Tafredda fabric.

The early history of Barbizon is elusive but by the late 40s the company was well on its way to success, producing a number of elegant slips, robes and nightgowns fashioned from their remarkable new fiber blends. The different materials influenced the fit and style of Barbizon's designs, setting them apart from the competition. The brand's styles evolved with fashion but their commitment to refined femininity and technological enhancements are visible in designs from every era.

Barbizon Ad from 1948

Unlike typical nylon or bias cut silk, the taffeta blend "Tafredda" had a more rigid fit. Barbizon offered a wide range of body contouring styles from this fiber, each one tailored with clever darts, princess seams or zippers to create tightly fitted silhouettes. The lovely styles were made in up to 21 different sizes, ensuring a personalized fit for almost anyone.

Barbizon Ad from 1948

Other unique materials include Recollection, a nylon and rayon blend designed to be especially soft and slinky. Barbizon's fashions ranged from the demure to the extravagantly feminine but always maintain a level of sophistication and elegance.

1956 Barbizon Ad for the Recollection Styles

Another Recollection design, just in time for the Holidays!

Christmas Comes Early for Barbizon in 1959

Crepe Avant, another of Barbizon's trademarked fibers is described below as, "a slinky new fabric...that even snubs an iron."

Barbizon Ad 1959

Barbizon catered to the sophisticated woman with impeccable taste like the dame in this ad for the "Chanel inspired jacket," fashioned from the brand's Satin de Lys nylon satin.

Glamorous 1962 Barbizon Ad

The Blendaire Batiste was another popular material for sleepwear, as seen in this nightie named "My Pet."

Barbizon Blendaire Ad 1959

We often have Barbizon beauties for sale on our website and in our store. Here are a few from the archives.