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Doublet and breeches

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (probably, weaving)
    England (stamping, pinking, sewing, made)

  • Date:

    1630-1639 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, wool, baleen, steelst; hand-woven, hand-sewn, stamped and pinked

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
This ensemble of doublet and breeches is typical of a wealthy man's clothing. It would have been worn with a matching or contrasting cloak. A fine lace or linen collar and cuffs would have completed the outfit, along with silk stockings and heeled leather shoes.

The style of this outfit is characteristic of the 1630s. The breeches are longer and less voluminous than they were in the early 17th century. They are attached with long heavy hooks which run through eyelets at the waistband on the inside of the doublet. The silk ribbons at the waistband once had the function of holding doublet and breeches together, but are now purely decorative. On the doublet the waist tabs are now much larger and longer than they had been 20 years previously.

Materials & Making
The lustrous white satin was a suitable fabric for stamping and pinking. The fabric was probably dampened first and the stamping tools heated to make the impression indelible. In between the stamped motifs, a pinking tool similar to an awl created the tiny decorative holes. Once the satin was decorated, it was cut and hand-sewn. The doublet and breeches are interlined with wool and lined with silk.

Physical description

Man’s doublet and breeches of ivory silk satin, decorated with stamping and pinking. The doublet is interlined with linen and coarsely woven wool and lined with ivory silk satin. It has a 2¼-inch (5.5 cm) standing collar, ⅞-inch (2.2 cm) deep shoulder wings, curving 2-piece sleeves and 6 large, deep laps below the waist. The belly pieces are probably made of baleen stitched into layers of linen and covered with ivory satin. A ⅜-inch (8 mm) wide woven lace of ivory silk cord and silk floss, applied in 2 parallel rows, covers the seams, edges the shoulder wings, laps and collar and circles the armhole. There are 8 worked buttonholes on each sleeve and 26 on the left front with 4 button loops of braided ivory silk on the left side of the collar. The buttons have a domed wooden core, covered with ivory silk thread; 36 remain. A band of linen covered with ivory satin, sewn into the waist seam on the inside bears 16 metal eyes.

The breeches are made of the same fabric as the doubletand interlined with blue wool and linen. A separate liner of bleached fustian is sewn to the waistband. The legs are full, gathered into the waistband and eased at the knee. The woven silk lace is applied in double rows along the outside leg and in a single line around the knee opening. There is a pocket lined with ivory silk taffeta in each side seam. The breeches open at the front with a buttonhole stand on the left with 10 buttonholes. Three buttons, the same as on the doublet sleeves, remain. There are 2 worked eyelets on each side of the front waistband and 14 metal hooks are sewn around the waistband.

Place of Origin

Italy (probably, weaving)
England (stamping, pinking, sewing, made)


1630-1639 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, wool, baleen, steelst; hand-woven, hand-sewn, stamped and pinked


Length: 71.0 cm doublet, overall approx, Circumference: 94.0 cm doublet, chest under armholes approx, Length: 79.0 cm breeches, overall approx, Circumference: 86.0 cm breeches, waist approx

Object history note

Made in England

Descriptive line

Man's doublet and breeches, 1630s, English; ivory silk satin with stamped and pinked decoration

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This doublet and breeches illustrate the processes of stamping and pinking fabric that could be done much more quickly than embroidery. Five decorative motifs have been stamped into the satin in a process similar to leather bookbinding. The satin has been 'pinked' or perforated with tiny decorative holes. [27/03/2003]


Silk (textile); Linen (material); Wool (textile); Baleen; Steel


Hand weaving; Hand sewing; Satin weave; Stamping; Pinking


Clothing; Formal wear; Europeana Fashion Project; Men's clothes


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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