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Christening cloth

Christening cloth

  • Place of origin:

    France (possibly, made)
    Italy (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1800-1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk brocaded with silver and silver-gilt thread

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Anne Thirlwall Davies and Mrs Sandra Thirlwall Jones in memory of their beloved mother, Mrs Frances Grace Davies

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Bearing cloths were used to wrap around swaddled babies (babies wrapped round with strips of cloth) or to carry them on for christenings (baptisms) and other ceremonial occasions. The cloths were made of rich materials and this example is made of silk brocaded with silver and silver-gilt thread. The main purpose of bearing cloths was to display a family's wealth and status, and to celebrate a new birth. Since they were used only on special occasions and with great care, they were often passed down through families over generations.

Physical description

A rectangular christening or bearing cloth made of dark blue satin with self-coloured pattern and brocading in silver and silver-gilt thread. Lined with plain-woven silk. Pattern in comber repeat.

Place of Origin

France (possibly, made)
Italy (possibly, made)


1800-1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk brocaded with silver and silver-gilt thread


Length: 129.0 cm approx., Width: 105.0 cm approx

Descriptive line

Dark blue silk satin; pattern obtained by supplementary brocading wefts and by the liseré efects of the ground weft, France or Italy, 1800-1850


Silk; Silver thread; Silver-gilt thread


Hand weaving; Brocading


Textiles; Children & Childhood


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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