Who said school uniforms should be dull? Thanks to the revolution of man-made, polyester fibres like Crimplene and Bri-Nylon, they can be smart, comfortable and fun to wear too! OK, they're also highly flammable, but at least they're not boring. Designer Jill Morris talks about colours and designing for children, and works with a commendably fashionable headmaster to come up with some rather handsome outfits.
Cotton lisle (a fine, twisted thread used for socks and stockings) has ironically been more enduring than Crimplene, a British-invented synthetic fibre derived from the petroleum industry. ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) followed American Dupont in their discovery of Nylon and in the 1940s perfected a unique thread, which once turned into garments could hold its shape without the need for ironing. Hugely famous in the 1960s, it became a staple for the whole family until slowly falling out of fashion in the 1970s. This might explain why, by 1975, ICI were striving to find new markets for their product, in this instance hailing its merits for children’s school wear.