Pocket thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Pocket

1700-1725 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In the 18th century, women’s pockets were not sewn into their gowns. Instead they were attached to a tape and tied around the waist as separate garments. Worn under the hoops and petticoats, they were accessed through openings in the gown and petticoat seams.
This linen pocket worked with silk thread is unfinished. The embroidery is complete and the pocket back and front sewn together. However, the outside edge and opening have not yet been bound, nor the tie sewn on. It may have been recycled from another textile or garment, as one of the embroidered motifs has been cut through to make the pocket opening. The design of individual small floral motifs with spiky leaves and petals indicates the influence of Indian textile patterns. The embroidered edging does not quite match the centre in colours and motifs and may have been added after the pocket had been cut out.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen, silk; hand-woven, hand-embroidered
Brief Description
Woman's pocket of linen, 1700-1725, British, embroidered with coloured silks
Physical Description
Woman’s pocket of fine, bleached linen, back with linen, embroidered in blue, green, red, pink and yellow silk in a pattern of floral sprigs. The tape binding the edges has been unpicked and the tape ties cut off.
Dimensions
  • Length: 33.7cm (maximum)
  • Width: 24.4cm (maximum)
Summary
In the 18th century, women’s pockets were not sewn into their gowns. Instead they were attached to a tape and tied around the waist as separate garments. Worn under the hoops and petticoats, they were accessed through openings in the gown and petticoat seams.

This linen pocket worked with silk thread is unfinished. The embroidery is complete and the pocket back and front sewn together. However, the outside edge and opening have not yet been bound, nor the tie sewn on. It may have been recycled from another textile or garment, as one of the embroidered motifs has been cut through to make the pocket opening. The design of individual small floral motifs with spiky leaves and petals indicates the influence of Indian textile patterns. The embroidered edging does not quite match the centre in colours and motifs and may have been added after the pocket had been cut out.
Collection
Accession Number
1411-1900

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record createdDecember 20, 2004
Record URL