Paper Patterns

By: Ashley Navarro

History Of Paper Patterns

The growth of the paper pattern industry in the second half of the 19th century mirrored the development of the domestic sewing machine and the increase of fashion print media. For women in rural America, keeping up with the latest styles was best achieved at home. A merchant tailor by trade, Butterick experimented with graded shirt patterns and when he moved into children’s clothing the business really took off. He moved to New York and by 1871 he had over 140 operatives throughout the States, with an astonishing average daily output of 23,000 patterns. The paper pattern industry has been inextricably linked to American democratisation of fashion and entrepreneurialism. Due to this the majority of studies into its history and significance have focused on the American market.

Ebenezer Butterick

Ebenezer Butterick was born on May 29, 1926 in Sterling Massachusetts and died on March 31, 1903. He was an American tailor, inventor, manufacture, and a fashion business executive. The Butterick family began selling their patterns from Sterling, Massachusetts home in 1863, and the business expanded so quickly in one year.

Manufacturing Concerns

Butterick was one of the largest manufacturing concerns in the world and the largest publishing plant in the United States, with the exception of the government printing office in Washington D.C. With the advent of Butterick patterns, not only did dressmaking become much easier, fashion became available to men, women, and children of all classes all over the world.