Tonight on the Fabric Channel
As part of its award winning series Wild Weaves: Behind the Cloth, The Fabric Channel Worldwide (FCW) presents: Gabardine - A Stitch Apart.
1654 - After their ill-fated peach wine venture the previous summer that mutated a stomach virus that claimed 834 lives, the Brothers of Gabardina start experimenting with local cottons grown on the slopes and sheep (whom they previously did not know provided services other than companionship).
1658 - Following several awkward false starts, the brothers put on a fashion show of their new robes that draws attendees from the five surrounding valleys.
1661 - Two years of great success and demand for the fabric come crashing to a halt when locusts deplete the season's cotton harvest, and the monks begin making box wine. Die Schwestern von Bitternberg, an obscure Austrian alpine order, buy their few remaining fabrics, spinning wheels and looms.
1813 - Having created what is now the third largest industry in the nation, gabardine must now be used in all Austrian flags.
1893 - Dr. Sigmund Freud is photographed by the International Herald Tribune in a gabardine suit.
1903 - Considered an odd cross between the salsa, Turkey Trot and the Can-Can, La Gabarina floods from the obscure dance halls of Havana to the cabarets of New York, Shanghai and Berlin.
1921 - Though an initial hit with its guests, the felted gabardine sheets at Sonoma County's Bohemian Club cause President Harding to break out in hives and experience shortness of breath. When he dies suddenly months later, speculation about the role of gabardine is whispered throughout the chambers of Washington, D.C.
1928 - In between acting in and directing films at UFA, Leni Riefenstahl secretly begins working on Gabardiniad: Shroud of the Fatherland.
1936 - Hidden cameras at the World Fair are installed by MIT, capturing the weave of men's trousers and jackets. More than 85% are gabardine.
1939 - A test screening of a short excerpt from Gabardiniad in Hamburg sends the crowd into an anti-Semitic fury. Goebels writes a check for seven million marks for the completion of the film now rumored to be seven hours long.
1943 - As the war rages on, desperate families trade milk and chicken ration stamps 10 to 1 for the precious gabardine stamps that also start showing up on the black market.
1945 - Having word of the Allied forces advancing towards Berlin, Riefenstahl burns all prints of Gabardiniad. When captured in her pied-à-terre she is found listening to Kate Smith and working on a script about the adventures of two Alpine fauns. She claims she had been so engrossed in her work for the past six years she had no idea that there had been a war going on and thought it was just her noisy Jewish neighbors arguing.
1954 - As a part of the "Let's Just Get Over It" campaign, President Eisenhower is photographed for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post behind the wheel of a Volkswagen drinking a Heineken and wearing a gabardine suit.
1972 - While being photographed on a visit to the White House with his sister Karen, Richard Carpenter is visibly alarmed in some photos when President Nixon grabs the seat of his black cotton-polyester gabardine trousers and purrs, "Oooh, what a nice tight blend."
1977 - Famously headstrong Barbra Streisand teams with diminutive Paul Williams to pen the love theme for the critically lambasted yet bizarrely lucrative remake of A Star Is Born. Originally titled "Gabardine," Streisand finally relinquishes to retitle it "Evergreen". Though smiling upon winning Oscars and Grammys, she is heard mumbling, "I liked it a lot better when it was named after that sexy fabric and not that #$#@(*&$ tree!"
1979 - Clocking in at over 18 minutes, the tune "Gabardine" recorded by Belgian chanteuse Pikki tops the dance charts in Ibiza, Fire Island, Tokyo and Paris for six solid weeks. Speaking virtually no English and pitifully little French, Pikki repeats the single word "Gabardine" with such sexual gusto that the tune is banned by the Vatican, the LDS and the emerging Christian Coalition.
2007 - A pristine print of Gabardiniad is discovered in Tierra de Fuego. Criterion Collection announces that it will release a 32-DVD reissue in time for Christmas 2012.
Coming in August on the Fabric Channel - Poplin: The Populist Silk