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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1590-1600 (embroidered)
    1600-1625 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silver; hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This early 17th century woman’s jacket is made of silk, a more luxurious fabric than the linen typically used for such garments. However it is made in a loose, informal style not seen in portraiture. The lining of shag (silk velvet with a long pile) suggests the garment was intended for warmth as well as adornment. It is richly embroidered in silver and silver-gilt thread, purl, strip and spangles. The design of roses, columbinem honeysuckle, pansy and strawberries in a symmetrical interlacing of stems is worked in couched work, satin stitch and stem stitch.

Physical description

Woman’s jacket of ivory silk taffeta, backed with coarse bleached linen and embroidered with coloured silk threads, silver filé – full and partially wrapped over white and yellow silk threads – purl and spangles, in a design of large curving vines with roses, columbine, pansies, honeysuckle and strawberries. The embroidery threads run into the seams, indicating that it was probably made from another garment, such as a petticoat, or furnishing, such as a bed cover. The back is 1 piece; neither it nor the 2 fronts are shaped. The sleeves are 1-piece rectangles, with the seam under the arm and open 2 inches (5 cm) at the ends. The jacket is lined with pink silk shag and edged with a ¼ inch (6 mm) wide gauze-woven lace of silver filé.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1590-1600 (embroidered)
1600-1625 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silver; hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn


Length: 71.0 cm overall approx, :, Circumference: 108.0 cm bust under armholes approx

Descriptive line

A woman's jacket, 1600-25, English; Silk embroidered with silk, metal thread, spangles, 1590s, with a silk shag lining

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

John Lea Nevinson, Catalogue of English Domestic Embroidery of the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries, Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Textiles, London: HMSO, 1938, p.79, plate LV


Silk (textile); Linen (material); Silk thread; Silver thread


Hand weaving; Hand embroidery; Hand sewing


Fashion; Europeana Fashion Project; Womenswear; Embroidery


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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