Chemise thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Chemise

1851 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Women wore chemises next to the skin to protect the outer layers of clothing. The name comes from the French word for shirt or shift. Chemises were made of cotton or linen so that they could be easily washed. This one is marked with the wearer's name and a number to help identify it during the laundry process.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen, and muslin frill
Brief Description
Linen chemise, possibly made in Great Britain, 1851
Physical Description
Linen chemise with a straight cut back and front, but the side pieces flare slightly from the under-arm to the hem. The neck is low and square and the sleeves are short, and both are trimmed with a narrow linen frill at the base of which is threaded a drawstring.
Dimensions
  • Length: 45in
Marks and Inscriptions
'M. J. Sanderson 3' (Written in ink, on the left front corner of neck)
Gallery Label
  • This chemise is typical of the mid-19th century. It is plain and simply cut, with short sleeves and a square neckline. A muslin frill is attached for decoration, but it wouldn't have been seen outside the bedroom as so many other layers of underwear and dress were added on top of this simple foundation. Chemise Britain, 1851 Linen with muslin flounce Given by Miss P. Canton V&A: T.148-1961(2013-2015)
  • Most 19th-century undergarments worn next to the skin, like this chemise, were made of linen or cotton. Fine garments were handwashed. More robust underclothes were intensively laundered. First, they were soaked, pounded and scrubbed in soap and hot water, then boiled, rinsed, and sometimes starched. They were wrung out, hung up to dry and, finally, ironed. Chemise, inscribed in ink 'M.J. Sanderson 3 1851' Britain, 1851 Linen with a muslin frill V&A: T.148-1961 Given by Miss P. Canton(16/04/2016-12/03/2017)
Credit line
Given by Miss P. Canton
Summary
Women wore chemises next to the skin to protect the outer layers of clothing. The name comes from the French word for shirt or shift. Chemises were made of cotton or linen so that they could be easily washed. This one is marked with the wearer's name and a number to help identify it during the laundry process.
Collection
Accession Number
T.148-1961

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record createdMarch 11, 2005
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