Question: Have You Heard Of Lynnfield Fabrics?

This week we received a question about a "Tonetwill By Lynnfield" jacket a man purchased at an area yard sale. Does anybody remember a Boston-based "Lynnfield Fabrics" company?

Earlier this fall, a reader wrote to Lynnfield Patch asking about a movie that he vaguely remembered being shot in town a couple of decades ago. We actually had pretty good luck with that one, and within a day or two, locals had told us about the night a crew was in town around 1989 shooting scenes for the motorcycle movie "Race For Glory."

This week, we got another question about something very, very obscure with a possible Lynnfield connection. A man named Ben reports that he just picked up a "Tonetwill By Lynnfield" jacket. The clothing appears to be from around the "mod" phase of the '60s and according to Ben, the only mention of this brand of jacket anywhere online is an old Lynnfield Patch "eBay Report" column where I quipped that it looked like a garment that could be favored by either Chairman Mao or Madeline the children's book character.

A check around the Internet does confirm that there seem to be no other online references whatsoever to a Tonetwill by Lynnfield jacket, or any other such garment.

Fortunately, the eBay seller provides a fair amount of information - basically from the tags that remain on her own jacket, which apparently spent decades in storage somewhere.

According to the eBay listing, the Tonetwill by Lynnfield jacket was made by Lynnfield Fabrics, Inc. at 81 Essex Street in Boston. A check on Google finds that 81 Essex Street is now an apartment building in what appears to be Chinatown or a street right next to it. So in other words, it was apparently a "Lynnfield" coat created at Chinatown wages. But anyhow, the seller also reports that the coat tag calls Tonetwill the "2-ply fabric of elegance." A couple of decades worth of ads for toilet paper and Hefty bags later, the term "2-ply" just seems so out of place with the term "elegance." But I digress.

Also - there was apparently a zip-out fleece liner in this jacket made of "Deep Down And Soft Fondalon, A Luxurious Fabric." It was manufactured in Fonda, New York, and the village's official website says that the company, Fonda Manufacturing Corp., was destroyed by fire in the 1970s. The presence of materials like "Fondalon" and "Tonetwill" may be an echo of the Space Age, with its adulation for anything smacking of technological advances, from new miracle fabrics to fake food additives and dubious chemicals to powdered orange breakfast drinks.

So there we have it. We know a few things about this item that bears the name "Lynnfield." That's where you all come in - Is there more to this story with a local angle? Have you ever seen a Lynnfield Fabrics garment, or anything made of "Tonetwill?" Did somebody just open up a "Lynnfield Fabrics" company in Boston because they liked the name, or because they were a town resident?

Please add any information you know down in the comment boxes, it will be most appreciated.

Margy Linn-Berg October 21, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Not sure how my sister found this question as we have not thought about Lynnfield Fabrics for many, many years. It was my father who owned Lynnfield Fabrics. His name was Carl Linn (spelled differently) and his partner was Dave Satterfield, hence Lynnfield. The two ply was actual for two tone and was sold to raincoat manufacturers with most colors in beige and a second tone of blue. We grew up in Newton, MA and I used to always complain how my friends parents owned all sorts of companies and their samples were toys, bikes and other fun things while all I ever got was his "ugly" raincoats. The office on Essex St. in Boston was very near Fenway Park and I used to love going to the Red Sox Games. My dad has a second location in the Empire State Building in NY and both my brothers and many relatives worked for him. Lynnfield did not have anything to do with the town of Lynnfield and has been out of business since the late 60s when my father moved to Wareham and got into real estate. My parents are no longer alive.


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