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Dress trimming

Dress trimming

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1575-1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, silk thread, silver thread, silver-gilt thread; hand-embroidered

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, elite women’s dress was very decorative. One form of embellishment was the ‘dress guard’. This was an embroidered band of rich fabric, usually silk, sewn over the seams on garments such as gowns, bodices and petticoats.

This dress guard has been made from a strip of silk satin, embroidered in a floral pattern with silk and metal threads. It is just a fragment of the many yards that would have been required to completely embellish a woman’s ensemble.

Physical description

A dress guard made of a strip of red silk satin embroidered with silk threads of green, blue, yellow, white and purple in satin stitch and couched silver and silver-gilt threads. The pattern is repeating scrolls bearing leaves, pansies, carnations and borage. The silk on the top and bottom edges has been turned over and stitch marks indicate it was once sewn to another object.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1575-1600 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, silk thread, silver thread, silver-gilt thread; hand-embroidered


Length: 43.0 cm overall, approx., Width: 5.4 cm overall, approx.

Descriptive line

A trimming of silk for women's dress,1575-1600, British; embroidered with silk and silver-gilt, floral pattern

Subjects depicted

Carnations; Borage; Pansy


Clothing; Embroidery; Fashion


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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