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Dress fabric

Dress fabric

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1760s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brocaded silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs R. W. Cave-Orme

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a length of dress fabric, and we know that it was used for a lady's gown, as it still has traces of pleats indicating where it had been gathered into the waist of a petticoat, which was worn with an open robe. The fabric is brocaded. The technique of brocading allowed different colours to be introduced into the pattern of a fabric in specific, sometimes very small areas. It was a more laborious process for the weaver than using patterning wefts running from selvedge to selvedge, but the resulting effect could be much more varied and lively. In this period of the 18th century, there was a fashion for the patterns in woven silks to simulate real trimmings, like fur and lace, as if they were trailing over the surface of the fabric.

Physical description

Dress fabric, from a petticoat, of brocaded silk with a ribbon pattern in lace and leopard skin. Shows traces of pleats. The ground has an additional flushing warp forming a ribbed effect. Each flushing warp floats over 11 threads and is bound by the next three. The ground of the lace meander is brocaded with red silk and the flowers in white silk and white silk frisé. The furry meander is carried out in several shades of buff silk and black. The brocaded wefts on the furry meander only are bound in 3/1 twill. The selvedge is 0.375 inch wide, 0.19 inch plain pink tabby, and 0.19 inch composed of 8 yellow silk cordonnets.

Place of Origin

France (made)


1760s (made)



Materials and Techniques

Brocaded silk


Length: 117 cm, Width: 53.5 cm including selvedge, Length: 43.625 in, Width: 20.75 in maximum

Object history note

Given by Mrs R. W. Cave-Orme in 1962
RP 61/3223

Descriptive line

Dress fabric of brocaded silk, France, 1760s




Weaving; Brocading

Subjects depicted

Ribbon; Leopard skin; Lace


Textiles; Fashion; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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