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Sack back

  • Place of origin:

    England (textile, weaving)
    England (ensemble, sewing)

  • Date:

    1760 - 1770 (weaving)
    1765 - 1770 (sewing)
    1770s (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread;hand-woven, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss E. M. Cooke

  • Museum number:

    T.471 to B-1980

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The rosettes in the fringe (braid) of this sack-back gown are made of coils of floss silk. Composed of contrasting or graduated shades of white, pink and maroon, some of the rosettes have been wired, allowing them to stand out from the gown. The fringe itself is made of a core thread of linen, wrapped in dark green silk with short knotted tufts of white and green silk. The overall effect, like most fly fringe, is to mimic a twisting stem sprouting tiny leaves and flowers.

The green and white satin has additional shaded stripes of darker green and brown. Such patterns of complex and subtly coloured stripes are characteristic of 1760s dress fabrics. Individual sprays of pansies, morning glories, auriculas, carnations, bluebells and roses, embroidered in chenille thread, echo the floral theme of the fringe.

Physical description

A woman's sack-back with a stomacher and petticoat made of striped green and white satin trimmed with a fly fringe and embroidered in chenille with floral sprays. These include pansies, morning glories, ranunculas, carnations and harebells and rosebuds. The gown is open at the front with elbow-length sleeves with double, scalloped sleeve ruffles. The bodice and sleeves are lined with linen; the back of the lining in two pieces and fastened with linen tape ties. The back has two, double box pleats extending shoulder to hem, with the front skirts pleated into the waistseam. The sack back is made of 6 widths of silk, with 2 triangular gores on each front side. The robings of the bodice are seamed a the waist to the front skirts. The skirt robings are trimmed with a pleated band of silk arranged in a zig-zag down the front. A fringe of elaborately looped silk flowers and floss knots is arranged in a zig-zag down the bodice robings. It edges the sleeve ruffles. Individual looped flowers decorate the skirt robings.

The petticoat is made of 5 widths of silk. The front has a box pleat and flat pleats around the side and back, with the opening at the back. The pleats are bound with linen tape. A deep flounce of the striped silk, edged with the looped flower braid decorates the bottom of the petticoat front.

The stomacher is pieced, with zig zags of the fringe down the centre and a bow of silk edged with fringe and the top centre. It is backed with linen.

The ensemble was probably made in the late 1760s; the stomacher was originally in the 'Brunswick style', buttoning down the front and probably sewn to the sack back fronts. The front robings were adjusted, possibly for another wearer. in the 1770s Additional pieces of linen were added to the front linings, which now overlap underneath the stomacher.

Place of Origin

England (textile, weaving)
England (ensemble, sewing)

Date

1760 - 1770 (weaving)
1765 - 1770 (sewing)
1770s (altered)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread;hand-woven, hand-sewn

Marks and inscriptions

'COOKE 1786'
In ink on tape at neck

Dimensions

Width: 52.5 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge

Descriptive line

A woman's sack back, petticoat and stomacher, 1770s, English; green and cream striped silk satin, English, 1760-1770, embroidered, fringe

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

Hart, Avril and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries, London: V&A Publications, 1998, p. 134

Materials

Linen (material); Silk (textile)

Techniques

Hand weaving; Hand embroidery; Hand sewing; Satin weave

Subjects depicted

Stripes

Categories

Women's clothes; Textiles; Fashion; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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