Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Pair of pockets

Pair of pockets

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1830 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, hand-sewn and tamboured with linen thread, and linen tape

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sydney Vacher

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

During the 19th century, most fashionable gowns had pockets sewn into the seams of the skirt. Separate pockets were worn mainly by young girls, older women and working class women. They were also a feature of ethnic or regional costume.
These cotton pockets were given to the V&A in 1907 as part of a collection of dresses and textiles from the Arles area of France. They are part of the ensemble of garments that make up the ethnic costume of that region. Unlike the other pockets in the V&A’s collections, these are rectangular in shape with pleats to make them narrower at the top. The whitework decoration has been tamboured, an embroidery process that uses a tiny hook instead of a needle. Tambouring was an Indian technique that spread to Europe in the late 18th century. It allowed chain stitch to be worked more quickly. Cotton began to replace the traditional use of linen for underwear, including pockets, in the early 19th century.

Physical description

A pair of cotton pockets, tamboured with linen thread with linen ties. The pockets are rectangular with pleats at the top for shaping.

Place of Origin

France (made)


1800-1830 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton, hand-sewn and tamboured with linen thread, and linen tape


Cotton; Linen tape


Hand sewing; Tambouring


Textiles; Clothing; Accessories; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.