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

Shift

1740-1780 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Women’s linen shifts were worn next to the skin, under the stays and hoops. They were part of a regime of cleanliness in the 18th century requiring a clean shift be worn everyday.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen, linen thread, hand-woven, hand-sewn
Brief Description
Woman's shift of linen, British, 1740-1780; pleated sleeves
Physical Description
Woman’s shift of bleached linen, known as ‘fine holland’, 36¾ inches (93.0 cm) wide, with a thread count of 120 warp × 100 weft per inch, sewn with linen thread. The fronts were cut on the diagonal at each side and the backs as a rectangle with triangular gores attached. Square and deep, the necklines are bound with linen tape. The elbow-length sleeves retain their original pleating set with starch and ironed. The cuffs have a worked buttonhole at each end for fastening with sleeve buttons.
Dimensions
  • Length: 113.0cm (approx)
  • Width: 103.0cm (approx)
Marks and Inscriptions
4 / SH (Laundry mark embroidered in cross stitch with red silk thread below the neckline at centre front)
Object history
This shift and T.25-1969 was made from a layout of four, together with another shift, 1969.237 in the Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall, Manchester. All are made of the same linen and bear the same laundry mark. The V&A Museum purchased two shifts from Mrs M A Edmonds in 1969 and Platt Hall bought the remaining one from her in the same year.
Summary
Women’s linen shifts were worn next to the skin, under the stays and hoops. They were part of a regime of cleanliness in the 18th century requiring a clean shift be worn everyday.
Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
T.26-1969

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 11, 2003
Record URL