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  • Place of origin:

    Russia (made)

  • Date:

    1800s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, embroidered with silk and edged with cotton bobbin lace

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The wide sleeves of this blouse have been drawn into a long and narrow cuff that tapers towards the wrist and then flares out over the hand, ending with a flourish of lace. Everything appears to be white and because there are no bright, gaudy colours to distract the eye, the skill demonstrated here lies in combining different textures to create a pleasing effect, which is both subtle and elegant.

There are three parts to the cuff: in the upper part, much of which would have been obscured as the full sleeve billowed over it, excess fabric has been gathered and secured by smocking with cream silk thread. The smocking continues in a central cylinder of fabric attached to the rest of the cuff, above and below, by a tube of cotton which has been folded back upon itself and stitched to form a zigzag. The lower part of the cuff has been tightly gathered along the top and then falls free and has been trimmed with an applied edging of bobbin lace.

The cuff fastens with three small buttons. There is no decoration elsewhere on the blouse because it would have been worn beneath an outer garment and only the sleeves would have shown.

Physical description

Woman's blouse, figured cotton embroidered with silk and edged with cotton bobbin lace.

Place of Origin

Russia (made)


1800s (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton, embroidered with silk and edged with cotton bobbin lace


Length: 179 cm, Length: 34 cm

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Crill, Rosemary, Jennifer Wearden and Verity Wilson. Dress in Detail from Around the World. London: V&A Publications, 2002. 224 p., ill. ISBN 09781851773787. p. 64


Cotton; Silk


Weaving; Sewing; Embroidering; Lace making; Smocking




Textiles and Fashion Collection

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