Skirt

Production date
1950s
Description
A checked woollen waterproofed fashion Swanndri skirt, in shades of khaki, blue and pink. Size 30. Manufactured by John Mack Ltd in Waitara during the 1950s.
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Manufacturer
Production date
1950s
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Puke Ariki has a significant collection of Swanndri material, which is unsurprising given William Broome developed the Swannie right here in New Plymouth. Although the original Swanndri was developed to keep farmers warm and dry in the seemingly endless Taranaki rain, the secret waterproofing of the wool was soon used to keep even more of the population dry, with this skirt a prime example.

Trish Kelly remembers her mother Phyllis Heaphy wearing this skirt to play golf in Westport in the 1960s, and she would always take it off and change as soon as she came home. "She kept her clothes beautifully" Trish remembers. The skirt is in great condition because of this, with Trish remarking, "Looking at the hem, you wouldn't figure it was almost 50 years old, would you?".

The skirt came into the Puke Ariki collection after the Manager Heritage, Andrew Moffat, publicly appealed for anyone who had images of the skirt to come forward on TVNZ's Seven Sharp. Trish saw the piece, and thought "oh my gosh, I can do better than a picture - I can actually donate it to you!".
Accession number
PA2013.030
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are you still looking for swanndri donations for your collection?

- Anke Hoggett-Schnebeck on 18-06-2014 04:35:31

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