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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1834 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs J. A. Latter Axton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA3, shelf FIG1

This ensemble illustrates the items of underwear worn by women in the 1830s. The shift had been an essential element of underwear for centuries and remained so in the 19th century. At that time it was more politely referred to by its French name, chemise. When the sheer fabrics and rather clinging styles of Neo-classical dress became fashionable in the 1790s, drawers were introduced into the female wardrobe for the sake of modesty. They continued to be worn when 19th century dresses evolved into more substantial styles. The corset is lightly boned and reinforced with cording. There is a long narrow pocket in the front for the busk, a wide piece of wood or ivory, which kept the corset stiff and flat in front.

Physical description

Drawers of hand sewn cotton. The legs are mid-calf length, trimmed with tucks. The legs are cut separately and on the cross, and lapping over one another at the waistband which is adjusted with a draw tape.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1834 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton, hand-sewn


Length: 42 in

Descriptive line

Drawers of hand sewn cotton, Great Britain, 1834


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


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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