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Vintage Lion Brand

April 20th, 2009

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Recently, I visited Tucker’s Yarn of Allentown, PA, an old time customer of Lion Brand, with my nephew Evan. Tucker Yarn is a great family business that’s been around since 1949, run by 87 year-old Phil Tucker and his daughter May. Because they’ve been Lion Brand customers for so long, they have a huge collection of our yarns through the ages.

Entering the store was like entering a time-warp back to the 1950s. Throughout the store we found 17 skeins of vintage, now discontinued, Lion Brand yarns, as well as our current yarns. Some of the vintage yarns they had included Charmette, Tic Tac, Finelon, Sayelle Pompadour, Aree, Co-Co, Glitterknit, Jasmine, La Difference, Molaine, Bianca, 100% French Angora, Unique, and Lion Chenille Sensations. They also had vintage Wool-Ease and Jiffy in their old labels.

Evan hadn’t even heard of some of these yarns, despite having grown up in the family business, since many of them were around before he was born!

These yarns came from all over the world, from the U.S. to Italy, Israel, Belgium, France, and Turkey. It is interesting how the yarns are still in great shape, but that you can tell that they’re vintage by the ball bands.

What’s great about knitting and crocheting with these vintage yarns is that it’s like working with a piece of history.

  • Janice Kessler

    What a fascinating adventure your trip to Tucker’s Yarns must have been! Do you often visit your customers? Do you buy back the vintage yarns you find?

  • http://www.americanyarns.com.au Gabrielle

    Wow! That is fascinating! I’d love to have a poke around all those fabulous vintage yarns. I have some Sayelle in my vintage yarn collection as well as some vintage Lion Cotton which I am going to use in a throw someday. I think it’s important to cherish old things – they give us a wonderful glimpse into a time when life was simpler and less hurried.

    I’ve always wanted to know – does Lion Brand keep samples of all the yarns you’ve ever produced – sort of as a yarn museum??

  • Ginger

    wow – that pompadour label looks suspiciously like the generic label from some old Lee Wards yarn I inheritted from my ma … did LB once do genereic for Lee Wards?

  • Barbara Harold

    Thnaks for sharing your trip to Tucker’s. We will be going home to the farm this summer in upper PA and I think I will have my husband make a detour on the way. One of my ideas of heaven is to spend time in yarn shops, quilt shops and bead shops!

  • http://www.lionbrandyarnstudio.com/classes.html Patty

    I wish I had been there! I would have loved to get my hands on some of that yarn!

  • Anne

    Tucker’s is a great store with so many vintage yarns and kits from days gone by. If you are looking for ANYTHING from days gone by, call them because they just might have it stored in their large stock hidden on the three floors of the building. Don’t let the picture fool you; the store goes back a whole city block deep and the three floors have yarn, kits, buttons, patterns (you name the craft) stored. Their customer service is wonderful. If they don’t have it, they just may know where they can get it for you.

  • Kathy Ellis

    I just found five skeins of Molaine in Beige at a thrift store – am using it to make Manta Ray shawl from Yarn Play by Lisa Shobana Mason – it is exactly what I’ve been looking for to use for that pattern. If it works out, I will have a beautiful shawl for less than $4!! (75 cents each plus CA sales tax). I’d love to know more about it’s history. Another reader mentioned a museum of yarns no longer produced – I think that’s a fabulous idea! I would love to know what years this yarn (and other discontinued yarns I might run across) was produced in – it would be fun to be able to say “This yarn was made before 1962″ or something like that!

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  • J189PINK

    My mom gave me about 30 Sayelle Pompadour skeins. I’ve tried like crazy to make something out of them but just can’t figure out the right gauge.

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  • Maxine

    I grew up in the Allentown area and remember my grandmother talking about Tucker’s.

  • Wldj4

    Wish I could visit Tucker Yarns, too. Would love to see & purchase some of that vintage yarn.

  • Knittingnana60

    We lived in Allentown for about three years back in the 1970s.  Tucker’s was a favorite stop for me.  I spent many hours there finding the perfect yarn for a project, and they were always so helpful when I was trying to get a color scheme worked out.  I am glad to see that they are still there.

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