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  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (textile, weaving)

  • Date:

    1790s (block printing)
    1795-1799 (sewing)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, linen, linen thread; hand-woven, block-printed, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs P. M. Cooper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The cotton weaving and printing industries in Britain expanded greatly during the period 1775-1800. Cotton was a very popular fabric for clothing, from sheer muslins to heavy corduroys. It was part of the wardrobe of all classes. This printed cotton gown of the late 1790s could have been the Sunday best of a working-class woman or the informal morning gown of a wealthy lady. The very high waist and long sleeves are the typical fashion of this period.

Physical description

A woman's gown of white cotton, with a design of vertical floral trails, block-printed in red, green, brown, blue. The gown is open at the front with a high waist and long, curved, two-piece sleeves fastening at the wrist with two cotton-covered buttons and buttonholes. The gown is made of two widths of cotton with a partial width at centre back. The cotton is pleated in inverted box pleats, double at the back, stitched down above the waist, to form the front and back of the gown. Sewn to the front of the gown are two bodice fronts with hem casings and narrow linen tape drawstrings at the top and bottom edges. The bodice fronts and two backs are lined with linen, then stitched together, the seams forming a diamond shape at the back. The sleeves are lined with the same linen. The bodice front linings are separate from the bodice fronts, with a hem casing and drawstring at the top edge. The fabric at the hem of the front edges of the skirt are folded back to create a curve. A narrow white silk ribbon binds the wrists. The gown has been starched after construction.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (textile, weaving)


1790s (block printing)
1795-1799 (sewing)


Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Cotton, linen, linen thread; hand-woven, block-printed, hand-sewn


Length: 8.5 cm pattern repeat, Width: 9.5 cm pattern repeat, Length: 160.0 cm shoulder to hem at centre back, Circumference: 90.4 cm bust of lining under armholes, Width: 77.5 cm cotton, selvedge to selvedge

Descriptive line

A woman's gown, 1795-1799, English; White cotton, block-printed in floral design with red, green, brown, blue, 1790s, English


Cotton (textile); Linen (material); Linen thread


Block-printing; Hand sewing; Hand-weaving


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

Production Type


Collection code


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