Surgeon General’s Warning

by Erin on June 27, 2007

Kool fabric

This is terrible, terrible fabric. Seriously, it's just plain wrong. Usually I'm a connoisseur of the wrong (remind me to make my favorite bologna-and-baby-spinach on whole wheat sandwich for you sometime), but this is just a step too far. I cannot imagine a wholesome use for this fabric. (Or an evil one that would be worth the trouble.) Exclusively-branded cigarette girl outfit? Insincere "I know you can quit" quilt project? Reupholstering your donk?

Allison sent me this link so that she would not have to be alone in her eBay amazement. (Which reminds me: didn't there used to be a great "weird stuff on eBay" blog?) Right now there's just one bidder, and the seller estimates there's at least ten, and maybe THIRTY, yards of this fabric. So I'm sure you can work something out, but you SHOULDN'T. Please. Making something from this fabric is sure to be hazardous to your health, and has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Moonwishes June 27, 2007 at 1:55 pm

The only possible use I could think of for this fabric is possibly using it as a muslin for designing/altering wearable clothes.Makes you wonder if the person/team who designed this monstrosity still has a job?


Christina June 27, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Sometimes, you can paper-mache stuff using a fabric base instead of a paper one. Used inside out, you could make tea bags, or bean bags, or any number of things that will get dirty. Depends on how cheap the fabric is. Or, it could make a great anti-smoking art dress. Fabric can always be useful for something.


xstpenguin June 27, 2007 at 2:06 pm

I’m a little confused. Should I infer that Kool is a brand of cigarettes?


Heather June 27, 2007 at 2:38 pm

And then if you google ‘cigarette fabric’ you find out that there is also Winston fabric and Camel fabric available currently on eBay…Interesting…


Theresa June 27, 2007 at 3:20 pm

It was probably left over from the days when tobacco companies were not gettign sued and in trouble with the government. Maybe the companies used it for tents at festivals where they were one of the sponsors. Scariest part is that there is someone bidding on it.


Theresa June 27, 2007 at 3:27 pm

Heather’s comment prmpted me to google cigarette fabrics and found an interesting article on how cigraette textiles were used often in household textiles in the past. Here is the link if anyone is interested: xstpenquin – yes, KOOL is a particulary nasty brand of cigarettes.


jen June 27, 2007 at 3:36 pm

For over a decade, my family used a Winston branded quilted blanket at the beach. It was an excellent blanket, soft but thick and smooth so made a perfect surface for the beach (it didn’t pick up sand but wasn’t so light that it blew away). We didn’t even notice the branding, we were so immune to the stuff. No one smoked in my house but there was cigarette advertising everywhere.When my sister was about 15 she realized we’d been lying on a blanket that advertised cancer sticks. My grandfather was in the vending business, and that’s how we’d got the blanket. At that point we threw it away and got a plain one.This fabric is probably left over from the great days of cigarette vending…the 70s.


Sherri June 27, 2007 at 3:38 pm

I love Christina’s idea of making an anti-smoking art dress…modeled by someone with a hole from his/her tracheotomy. OR make a children’s camping tent and sleeping bags out of it!! If you’re gonna be wrong, might as well do it right. :-)


Carolyn June 27, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Perhaps the fabric used for coffin lining for an ex-smoker who quit the hard way.


Jen June 27, 2007 at 5:49 pm

This is so wrong, though, that we have to admit it’s mildly (mildly) amusing. As in, who thought this would be a big seller? And where would it sell?


Anonymous June 27, 2007 at 7:57 pm

This is the ultimate in retro. I don’t know that it’s so “wrong” – there’s lots of things we now know aren’t as good for us as we first thought. My mother started smoking at 30 years old…at the recommendation of her doctor. She would love this fabric!!!


Anonymous June 27, 2007 at 8:20 pm

I think I would buy a nice red fabric pen and write “un” in front of every “Kool” on the fabric should I be weird enough to purchase it. I love that the seller says there is at lease 10, possibly 30 yards. I despise Ebay sellers who don’t bother to thoroughly check out what they are selling. The winner may pay X dollars or 3X to have it delivered. It makes a big difference. Another thing…muslins can be worn if they work out. This fabric cannot be worn–IMHO.


Anonymous June 27, 2007 at 11:11 pm

I think this was produced for the promotional merchandise cig companies used to offer as promo giftsnot for mass selling at your local Joann’s. Although amongst all the other carp they sell there these days, this would fit right in.


Poppy June 28, 2007 at 4:47 am

I don’t know if I should be smiling or crying at this! I’m smiling because this fabric reminds me of my mom–who smoked a pack of KOOLs a day (even when she was pregnant with me)–and how I loved watching her light up, inhale, and exhale. I wondered how she made those smoke circles come out of her mouth! It was the 70s and I was young. Of course, I’m crying as well because she died at the ripe old age of 39, leaving me (then 11 yrs old) behind.


G.L.H. June 28, 2007 at 4:49 am

Although I agree with everyone that smoking is disgusting, (and all the other adjectives you are well and good to use), I see this as a picture of history in the 70’s, or whatever. As a “vintage” item, it is no different than the “mammy” cookie jars that a number of people collect as pieces of “history.” My sister used to collect Kool coupons (on every pack) in the 60’s, then redeem them for Kool merchandise. (such as the beach bag/towel combo thing…)Thanks for showing this, even if it is gruesome!


stacy June 28, 2007 at 7:05 am

I think it’s funny. Definitely from the 70’s where cigarette advertising was everywhere. Depending on how big the print is on the fabric, wouldn’t it make really hilarious sundresses for my little girls? Or would people miss the joke, and be offended instead? :p


zimmersarmy June 28, 2007 at 9:47 am

Stacy, the little girl’s ciggie dress made me giggle. Hate to admit it but I thought the same thing. Of course my mother-in-law would kick my prdel to hades.And the applying of fabric to objects via a glue like substance also made me smile. My folks wintered in AZ. They often brought me home cat knick knack that had been covered in pinkish florals. I am now picturing a cat encased in this fabric (maybe with an ashtray glued to its head!)-Janet


Anonymous June 28, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Has anyone looked to see that there are now 8 bids? I hope this blog entry wasn’t de-facto advertising for such an evil thing.


GAPSA June 28, 2007 at 2:37 pm

This is advertising. They should give that fabric away for free, or rather pay you to take it!


Jules/Vancouver BC June 28, 2007 at 10:29 pm

OK, as a CART racing fan, who used to love watching Paul Tracy and Team Kool Green, I think this is awesome.Not awesome enough to buy it (although my racing buddy would LOVE it), but still, kinda neat…bad, but good.


Cin June 29, 2007 at 2:05 pm

So I suppose that using it for a baby quilt would be a bad idea?Seriously though – this fabric is interesting in it’s audacity, but ultimately it’s just plain wrong.


Robinson July 5, 2007 at 8:18 am

Good grief. It’s a bolt of fabric. No one’s asking anyone to have their kids smoke it.


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