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Short gown

  • Place of origin:

    England (textile, weaving)
    England (gown, sewing)

  • Date:

    1780s (sewing)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven, hand-sewn, pinked

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss K. Lack

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A woman's short gown of yellow and pale pink shot silk taffeta. The gown is open at the front with shaped, elbow-length sleeves. The bodice and skirt are cut separately and seamed at the waist. The back is made of 4 shaped peices, tapering to a point below the waist at centre back. The bodice fronts, and 2 pieces of the back are lined with bleached linen and stitched together; the sleeves are also lined with bleached linen. A line of stitching in the lining of each bodice front belong the neckline forms a casing with narrow, linen-tape drawstrings. The skirt is made of 3 widths of silk, with a partial panel on each side of the front, curving at the hem. The skirt is flat-pleated into the waist seam. There is a cut and hemmed pocket opening on each side. A band of scallope and pinked silk, gathered on one edge, runs down each front opening and around the curve of the hem. A ruching of pinked, box-pleated silk trims the ends of the sleeves. Tapes, each with two long ends, are stitched either side of the centre back lining at the waist, for looping up the skirt.

In the late 19th century, the gown was altered for fancy dress. A linen tape with metal hooks was sewn to the lining of the bodice on each side of the front. The tape loops on the skirt were probably replaced at this time.

Place of Origin

England (textile, weaving)
England (gown, sewing)


1780s (sewing)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven, hand-sewn, pinked


Length: 135.0 cm shoulder to hem at centre back approx, Circumference: 92.5 cm bust under armholes approx, Width: 68.5 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge

Descriptive line

A woman's short gown, 1780s, English; Yellow-pale pink shot silk taffeta, English; altered 1870-1910


Silk taffeta; Linen (material); Silk thread; Linen thread


Hand weaving; Hand sewing; Pinking


Women's clothes; Textiles; Fashion

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

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