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Long gown

  • Place of origin:

    Scotland (made)

  • Date:

    1820-30 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton with Ayrshire work embroidery

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Baby clothes in the past have often had many years of use, and were passed on round and down families for use with each new child. The everyday items such as nappies were often made of strong fabrics to withstand boiling, bleaching, and ironing, but do not always survive.

Finely embroidered garments like this long gown were for best wear, and were cherished and preserved for as long as possible. They were skillfully mended where necessary, and many show beautifully worked darns. This gown has been mended on the bodice, and the area round the waist has been reinforced and then covered with a carefully applied band of white embroidery. Sometimes two or more garments were combined to make one new one.

Physical description

Baby's long robe of fine white cotton, with a drawstring neck and short puffed sleeves. The bodice has a wedge-shaped centre front panel embroidered in Ayrshire work, showing stylized elliptical fruits among foliage. The slightly raised narrow waistband is worked with a line of dots, and the area just above it has been covered at a later date with a length of white embroidery showing a series of curved lozenge shapes. The skirt is cartridge pleated to the waist, and the front has a full length wedge-shaped area of Ayrshire embroidery to match that on the bodice front. The garment fastens at the back.

The robings run from the back of the neck to the waist front: this may suggest the combining of a bodice and skirt from two different garments, but the embroidery on both matches.

Place of Origin

Scotland (made)


1820-30 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton with Ayrshire work embroidery


Length: 40 in from original catalogue record

Object history note

Bought of Mrs Frances Maddams, 81 Prince's Gate Mews, London SW (RF 24/2393)

Descriptive line

Long gown for a baby: white cotton decorated with Ayrshire work embroidery; Scotland, 1820-30




Stitching; Embroidering; Ayrshire work

Subjects depicted

Stylized fruits; Stylized leaves


Children's clothes; Children & Childhood; Scotland; Europeana Fashion Project


Museum of Childhood

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