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  • Place of origin:

    Spitalfields (possibly, weaving)
    England (ensemble, sewing)
    Lyons (possibly, weaving)

  • Date:

    1770-1775 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven gros de tours, hand-sewing

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Mary Hodgson

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a classic example of a sack and petticoat of the early 1770s. The back is loose with a slight train and the fabric pleated into the shoulders. Scalloped ruffles trim the elbow-length sleeves. Gathered flounces trimmed with fly fringe (a type of silk fringe) adorn the petticoat and open-fronted gown. An ensemble like this one would have been appropriate dress for the theatre or Assembly Rooms.

Physical description

A woman's sack and petticoat of purple and white silk gros de tours with a supplementary pattern weft of undulating trails of flowers in white, green and pink. The sack is open at the front with robings to the waist and elbow-length sleeves with double, scalloped sleeve ruffles. The bodice and sleeves are lined with linen. The back has two, double box pleats from shoulder to hem. The skirts at the front are pleated to a waist seam. Four widths of silk make up the sack, with a partial panel and triangular gore at each front. The skirt fronts are decorated with a broad ruching of the striped silk, edged with white silk gimp and matching pink, purple and green floss knots, arranged in a serpentine curve. The same fringe decorates the robings and edges the sleeve ruffles.

The petticoat is made of 6 widths of silk, box-pleated at the front and pleated around the waist. The waist is bound with blue linen tape, which fasten at the sides. A deep flounce edged with the silk fringe runs above the hem, all the way around the petticoat. Another flounce is above it at the front, caught up with two loops and two buttons. Above it is a narrow ruching trimmed with fringe.

Three dark blue thread buttons on the inside waist correspond to dark blue cord loops (one later replaced) to loop up the skirts of the gown. These may have been added a few years after the gown was made.

Place of Origin

Spitalfields (possibly, weaving)
England (ensemble, sewing)
Lyons (possibly, weaving)


1770-1775 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven gros de tours, hand-sewing


Width: 50.4 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge

Descriptive line

A woman's sack and petticoat, English, 1770-75; purple and white striped silk with flowers, Spitalfields or French, 1770-75


Silk (textile); Linen (material); Silk thread; Linen thread


Hand weaving; Hand sewing


Women's clothes; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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