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Pair of gloves

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1660-1680 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Suede, trimmed with silver thread and silk ribbons

  • Credit Line:

    Acquired with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Art Fund and contributors to the Margaret Laton Fund

  • Museum number:

    T.229:1, 2-1994

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
The decorative gauntlet of this glove showed off the wealth and status of the wearer. The embroidery of the early 17th century has given way to the lavish use of ribbons in the 1660s and 1670s.

Materials & Making
The ribbons have been arranged and attached in deep loops and bows covering the gauntlet of the glove. A wide ribbon of white silk, silver-gilt and silver has a gauze weave creating an open effect. At the selvedges (the edges of the weave, which were finished in such a manner as to prevent fraying) silk threads create a picot edge (an edge formed of small loops of twisted threads). The narrow ribbons are of ivory and salmon-pink silk with silver strips. Here, the selvedges have been cut to create a decorative frayed edge.

Ribbon was originally woven on a narrow hand-loom, but only one piece could be made at a time. New technology in the 17th century allowed one worker to operate up to 24 looms at once. The increased availability of ribbons influenced fashion, particularly men's wear. Breeches, doublets (close-fitting body garments) and gloves were liberally festooned with great bunches of decorative ribbons.

Moralists condemned the extravagant use of ribbons in dress, especially by men. In 1661 the diarist John Evelyn commented on one young 'fashion victim' as having 'as much Ribbon on him as would have plundered six shops, and set up Twenty Country Pedlars; all his body was dres't like a May-pole'.

Physical description

Pair of suede gloves, trimmed with silver thread and silk ribbons.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1660-1680 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Suede, trimmed with silver thread and silk ribbons


Length: 23 cm, Width: 15.5 cm wrist

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1994/644.

Descriptive line

Pair of gloves, suede, trimmed with silver thread and silk ribbons, England, 1660-1680.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Two types of ribbon decorate this glove. Such deep clusters were fashionable between 1660 and 1680. Traditionally, ribbon and braid had been woven on hand looms. By about 1650 the new Dutch engine loom could weave up to 24 ribbons at a time. This increase in production may explain their extravagant use on dress in this period. [27/03/2003]


Suede; Silver thread; Silk (textile)


Accessories; Fashion; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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