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Pair of sleeve ruffles

Pair of sleeve ruffles

  • Place of origin:

    Mechelen (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bobbin lace worked in linen thread

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lady Ludlow

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Sleeve ruffles were an important accessory to fashionable dress for both men and women in the 18th century. While many were of plain muslin or whitework embroidery, lace was worn by those who could afford it. The design, overall shape and number of ruffles (for women, one, two or even three layers) changed with fashion during the course of the century. This pair is typical of the mid-century, with a symmetrical design starting from a wide centre, tapering towards the ends. The quality of the lace is indicated by the variation in individual flower motifs, and the number of different filling stitches used.

The very fine, soft, thread used for Mechlin lace made it particularly suitable for accessories like sleeve ruffles where it was required to drape and fall loosely in delicate folds.

Physical description

Pair of sleeve ruffles in Mechlin bobbin lace. Deep in centre, tapering towards narrower ends. Very fine work, with pattern in point repeat from central axis at the ruffles' deepest point. Design of flowers in cartouches and feathery leaves. Later footing loosely tacked on.

Place of Origin

Mechelen (made)


ca. 1750 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Bobbin lace worked in linen thread


Length: 322 mm, Width: 250 mm, Length: 362 mm Part A, :, Width: 300 mm Part A

Descriptive line

Pair of sleeve ruffles, Mechlin bobbin lace, c.1750




Bobbin lace


Lace; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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