International Journal of Arts Architecture & Design

HomeArticle 2 Vol. 2 No.1

Designing for the Land of Affluence: The Postwar American Dream through Synthetic Fabrics

January 2024, Vol. 2, No. 1, Issue 


Dr. Johannis Tsoumas


After World War II, overproduction and overconsumption overshadowed the ascetic period 1940-1945, as new commodities such as houses, new technological house equipment, cars and other vehicles, travel, frozen food, fast food, but also plastics realized the dreams and expectations of middle class Americans, fulfilling their purchasing desires. Synthetic fabrics constituted a great part of this new socioeconomic and cultural phenomenon and symbolized the US’s emergence from years of deprivation, austerity, depression and war. In the 1950s and 1960s the American market was flooded with man-made materials such as nylon, acrylic and polyester, the ‘miracles of
Du Pont’s chemistry laboratories’ which replaced traditional natural fibers such as silk, cotton and wool, suggesting a, new, colorful, modern clothing. This article aims at exploring the effect of man-made fabrics mainly invented during the 1940s or before, on the social and cultural theater of the US as new technological achievements in the fields of fashion and home interior design. The article also aims to shed light on their historical background and unprecedented behavioral qualities which fascinated the postwar American consumer audience by altering their sense of taste and purchasing choices.


Pages : 19-30


Tsoumas, J. (2024). Designing for the Land of Affluence: The Postwar American Dream through Synthetic Fabrics. International Journal of Arts Architecture & Design, 2(1), 19-30.