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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1860 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Booth & Fox (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed cotton, goose down, machine-sewn, lined with cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs I. Gadsby-Toni

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This feather-filled petticoat was multi-purpose. It created enough bulk to support the dome-shaped skirts of the fashionable 1860s silhouette, and provided plenty of warmth without adding too much weight.

The brightly coloured paisley design was used for petticoats and other accessories such as handkerchieves. Indian influences can be seen in the tear-drop 'buta' motifs which are printed on a red ground in blue, green, yellow and black. The bright red vegetable dye is based on madder and became known as Turkey or Adrianople red. It was a popular print, and with improved production methods, became readily affordable. Goose down was also plentiful and inexpensive.

Physical description

Petticoat of printed cotton filled with goose down. Constructed from five 'A'-shaped panels machine-sewn together, lined with a plain red cotton then stitched to form eight tubular sections from hem to hip. The top section is left unfilled and pleated into a waistband, but each of the eight tubular sections is filled with feathers and down for padding. The design consists of a red ground with a 'paisley' design of cones interspersed with flowers in green, yellow, blue and black. There is an opening at the centre back seam.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1860 (made)


Booth & Fox (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Printed cotton, goose down, machine-sewn, lined with cotton

Marks and inscriptions

'BOOTH & FOX / ARCTIC GOOSE DOWN SKIRTS / 36". Fast colours. Wash with down in. Shake when drying.'
Label attached in waistband


Circumference: 28 in waist, Length: 34 in waist of hem, Circumference: 86 in hem

Descriptive line

Petticoat of printed cotton filled with goose down, made by Booth & Fox, London, ca. 1860

Labels and date

A thermal petticoat

Underwear has always helped keep us warm in cold weather. This colourfast printed cotton petticoat is filled with down. It is both warm and light. Its bulk also helped to support the voluminous skirts fashionable for women in the mid 19th century.

Booth & Fox
Britain, London, and Ireland, Cork, 1860s
Printed cotton, lined with cotton and filled with Arctic goosedown
V&A: T.212-1962
Given by Mrs I. Gadsby-Toni [16/04/2016-12/03/2017]


Cotton; Down




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

Production Type

Mass produced


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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