Gown thumbnail 1
Gown thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Gown

1790s (printing), 1795 1799 (sewing)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Cashmere shawls were prized imports from India during the late 18th century. British manufacturers soon began making shawls in similar styles. Not only were they worn with the newly fashionable Neo-classical gowns, the shawls were also made into gowns. In this example of the late 1790s, two shawls were sewn together to form the front and back of the gown. Sleeves of cream satin and a collar and over-sleeves of green silk satin were then added.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wool, silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven, block printed, hand-sewn
Brief Description
A woman's gown, 1795-1799, English; Cream silk/wool, block printed with the pattern of an Indian shawl, silk sleeves, 1790s, English
Physical Description
A woman's gown made of a cream-coloured shawl with a wool weft and silk warp, printed in pink and green with a floral sprig central design, and a border suggesting chiné stripe. At the hem is a wider border edged with the same, and with a larger scale dentilated design. The gown is open at the front with a high waist and short sleeves of dark green silk satin over long, curved, two-piece sleeves of white satin, fastening at the wrist with 3 buttons and button holes. The gown is made of two shawl lengths, seamed together at centre back, with the borders hidden in the seam. The fabric is fitted at the front and back with vertical pleats. Each bodice front and back is lined with bleached linen, then stitched together; the sleeves are also lined with the same linen, The front linings are separate from the bodice fronts. There is a collar of dark green silk, single layer of two pieces, with a point at centre back. The skirt fronts and wrists are bound with dark green silk satin ribbon. The collar and oversleeves are bound with cream silk satin ribbon.
Dimensions
  • Shoulder to hem at centre back length: 179.0cm (approx)
  • Bust of bodice lining under armholes circumference: 102.0cm (approx)
  • Shawl, selvedge to selvedge width: 71.0cm (approx)
Production typeUnique
Summary
Cashmere shawls were prized imports from India during the late 18th century. British manufacturers soon began making shawls in similar styles. Not only were they worn with the newly fashionable Neo-classical gowns, the shawls were also made into gowns. In this example of the late 1790s, two shawls were sewn together to form the front and back of the gown. Sleeves of cream satin and a collar and over-sleeves of green silk satin were then added.
Collection
Accession Number
T.217-1968

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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