Dress Fabric

1760s (made)
Dress Fabric thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a length of dress fabric, and we know that it was used for a lady's gown, as it still has traces of pleats indicating where it had been gathered into the waist of a petticoat, which was worn with an open robe. The fabric is brocaded. The technique of brocading allowed different colours to be introduced into the pattern of a fabric in specific, sometimes very small areas. It was a more laborious process for the weaver than using patterning wefts running from selvedge to selvedge, but the resulting effect could be much more varied and lively. In this period of the 18th century, there was a fashion for the patterns in woven silks to simulate real trimmings, like fur and lace, as if they were trailing over the surface of the fabric.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brocaded silk
Brief Description
Dress fabric of brocaded silk, France, 1760s
Physical Description
Dress fabric, from a petticoat, of brocaded silk with a ribbon pattern in lace and leopard skin. Shows traces of pleats. The ground has an additional flushing warp forming a ribbed effect. Each flushing warp floats over 11 threads and is bound by the next three. The ground of the lace meander is brocaded with red silk and the flowers in white silk and white silk frisé. The furry meander is carried out in several shades of buff silk and black. The brocaded wefts on the furry meander only are bound in 3/1 twill. The selvedge is 0.375 inch wide, 0.19 inch plain pink tabby, and 0.19 inch composed of 8 yellow silk cordonnets.

Dimensions
  • Length: 117cm
  • Including selvedge width: 53.5cm
  • Length: 43.625in
  • Width: 20.75in (maximum)
Credit line
Given by Mrs R. W. Cave-Orme
Object history
Given by Mrs R. W. Cave-Orme in 1962

RP 61/3223

Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
This is a length of dress fabric, and we know that it was used for a lady's gown, as it still has traces of pleats indicating where it had been gathered into the waist of a petticoat, which was worn with an open robe. The fabric is brocaded. The technique of brocading allowed different colours to be introduced into the pattern of a fabric in specific, sometimes very small areas. It was a more laborious process for the weaver than using patterning wefts running from selvedge to selvedge, but the resulting effect could be much more varied and lively. In this period of the 18th century, there was a fashion for the patterns in woven silks to simulate real trimmings, like fur and lace, as if they were trailing over the surface of the fabric.
Associated Object
Other Number
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.502-1962

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record createdJune 6, 2005
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