Pair of Mittens thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Pair of Mittens

1780-1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Etiquette in the 18th century required a lady’s hands to be covered at all times outdoors and in mixed company indoors. Gloves and mittens were essential accessories and most aristocratic women owned dozens of pairs. Mittens were popular as they covered the backs of the hands, but left the thumb and fingers free to do needlework or play cards. As an inexpensive alternative to leather, many gloves and mittens were made of silk in a variety of colours to complement gowns and other accessories.

This pair of mittens in bright yellow taffeta is typical in shape and construction. They have a separate thumb and an elegant point at the back of the hand. Following the style of leather gloves, there are three ‘points’ or narrow lines raised with stitching in white silk thread. All the seams have been embroidered over in herring-bone stitch in white silk.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Mitten
  • Mitten
Materials and Techniques
Silk; hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn
Brief Description
Pair of women's mittens of yellow silk sarsenet, 1780-1800, British; embroidered with white silk, elbow-length
Physical Description
Pair of women's elbow-length mittens in yellow silk sarsenet with gusset thumb and a point, faced with yellow sarsent at the back of the hand. The seams are embroidered over in herringbone stitch with white silk. The points are raised with outline stitch in white silk.
Dimensions
  • T.30 1973 length: 33.5cm (approx)
  • T.30 a 1973 length: 34.0cm (approx)
Credit line
Given by Miss A. M. Johnson
Summary
Etiquette in the 18th century required a lady’s hands to be covered at all times outdoors and in mixed company indoors. Gloves and mittens were essential accessories and most aristocratic women owned dozens of pairs. Mittens were popular as they covered the backs of the hands, but left the thumb and fingers free to do needlework or play cards. As an inexpensive alternative to leather, many gloves and mittens were made of silk in a variety of colours to complement gowns and other accessories.



This pair of mittens in bright yellow taffeta is typical in shape and construction. They have a separate thumb and an elegant point at the back of the hand. Following the style of leather gloves, there are three ‘points’ or narrow lines raised with stitching in white silk thread. All the seams have been embroidered over in herring-bone stitch in white silk.
Collection
Accession Number
T.30&A-1973

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record createdMay 22, 2007
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