Overalls are Outstanding!

Railroad worker in overalls

While the deadline for the 2012 Handwoven Garment Challenge is April 12, there's still time to enter. If you’re looking for some last minute ideas, mull over overalls.


Overalls are popular with farmers, painters, and small children alike. They are comfortable, covered in pockets and straps for holding tools, and are firmly rooted in American history. While some form of overalls have been around since the 1700s, the bib overall that many of us know and love wasn’t invented until 1851.


Tired of patching up her railroad-worker husband’s clothing, Abigail Carter took some canvas and a pair of dungarees and combined them to create the first pair of bib overalls. The item was an instant hit not just with her husband but also with other railroad men, gold miners, and the men in similar professions. Out of this demand H.W. Carter and Sons was born. Overalls were now available to everyone, and a fashion legend was born.


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