Fashion’s Favorite (film #504 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

This DuPont film from 1940 tells us all about the wonders of rayon in great detail. A lot of time is spent showing us how rayon is made, including two different chemical processes for making it, and how extensive quality control is maintained. This gets a little dry after awhile, as it is just bombastic narration with no soundtrack music, but the visuals make up for it somewhat. There are lots of great scenes of scientists working with all kinds of strange equipment and scary-looking glassware, as well as scenes of all kinds of DuPont products, such as clothing, lingerie, draperies, kitchenware, paints, and even tires. I had a field day mining images from this one. One scene I particularly enjoyed was the explanation of “cross-dying.” Apparently, it’s possible to weave white cloth with two different kinds of rayon yarns, then dye it in a mixed dye bath, containing two different dyes of different colors that each react with only one kind of rayon. What ends up happening is a single piece of white cloth is dipped in a single vat of dye and comes out plaid! Proof that there really is such a thing as plaid dye! Now all DuPont needs to do is invent portable holes. I’m sure they’re working on the problem as we speak.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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