Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More 18th C. Silk Fringe

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Isabella reporting,

Since so many of you enjoyed my post earlier this week on recreating Georgian silk floss fringe at Colonial Williamsburg, I couldn't resist sharing several more examples of 18th c. originals to show both the ingenuity and diversity of those long-ago fringe-makers.

This detail of a sleeve ruffle, top left, is from a sack back gown in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The gown is British, made from Spitalfields silk, and dates from 1760-1769. This understated but rich fringe was so carefully matched in color that it's almost an extension of the silk cloth.

The fringe, upper right, embellishes a mid-18th c. sack back gown from the costume collection of Paxton House, Scottish Borders. Although the sack was much altered in the 19th c. for fancy-dress wear, this multicolored fringe remains a bright accent on the white gown.

Another vibrant, multi-colored fringe, lower left, was recently spotted on eBay and featured on the excellent 18th c. costuming blog At the Sign of the Golden Scissors. This fringe is dated to a bit later, 1770-1780.

The fringe, lower right, is a rare survivor - a length of trim that somehow has survived on its own for over two hundred years, without a garment attached to it. It's late 18th c. French, and from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Finally, below, an over-the-top example of fringe combined with silk ribbon and flowers. Glorious excess! This is a detail of the front of the petticoat of a French Robe a la Francaise, 1750-75, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Now a bit of exciting news with a fringe connection. In 2014, Colonial Williamsburg will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Margaret Hunter millinery shop as part of the museum's site with a special symposium. While the symposium's focus will be not only on the history of the shop (one of Williamsburg's surviving 18th c. buildings), but also on the millinery trade itself, its people and its products, from the 18th c. to the present. The last day of the symposium will consist of hands-on workshops featuring different products of the millinery trade: artificial flowers, a calash, trims – and fringe! The details of the symposium are still in the planning stages, but the dates are firm: March 16-18, 2014, followed by the workshop day on March 19. We'll be sure to pass along more information when we hear it.


Sandra Brake said...

Dear Lord they are all so beautiful. But picture number 2 makes my heart sing. Sooooooo gorgeous.

Isobel Carr said...

Sometimes I really hate that I live 3K miles away. *sigh*

Gerri Bowen said...

The bottom photograph is beautiful!

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