Homefront fashion: pajamas suitable for flying

“I hope when I wear them that I do not start counting ten and jump!”

— President Franklin D. Roosevelt, writing on Feb. 2, 1943, to thank N.C. Gov. O. Max Gardner for his Christmas present — pajamas custom-made from nylon parachute cloth manufactured at Gardner’s textile mill in Shelby.

Gardner devised the gift to tout the value of synthetics research, which had invented nylon for parachutes just in time to offset the Japanese monopoly on silk.

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