Sunday, April 2, 2017

An Elegant Woman's Jacket, c1780, from Printed Cotton from India, c1750

Sunday, April 2, 2017
Susan reporting,

I'm deep in the middle of final copy edits, so this will be a quick - but very beautiful! - post.

This woman's jacket is from the splendid new exhibition that opened last week in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum of Colonial Williamsburg. Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and Home features stunning examples from the late 17thc to the early 19thc, all drawn from Colonial Williamsburg's own collections. I'll be writing another post about the exhibition soon, but for now this will serve as a sample of the glories currently on display.

The jacket was made in Europe c1750 from a textile imported from India - a mordant-painted and resist dyed cotton - and lined in linen. Jackets like this would have been worn over a linen shift and a contrasting petticoat, and would likely have been accessorized with a triangular kerchief around the neck, with white ruffles pinned to the bottoms of the sleeves.

According to the placard:

This charming jacket is constructed from an earlier India chintz textile, clear evidence that the chintz was sufficiently prized to warrant restyling years later. The center-front closure suggests a date in the late 1770s or early 1780s. Fitted jackets worn with separate skirts called petticoats were practical and comfortable for work and informal occasions. They were more economical than full-length gowns because they did not require additional yards of fabric.

More to come....

Jacket, maker unknown, Europe, c1780; textile, India, c1750. Colonial Williamsburg. Photo ©2017 Susan Holloway Scott.


Lucy said...

What's interesting to me is that the jacket shows a flap, as if cut in the pattern of a stomacher. I wonder if this was something common--it looks odd and unusual on a closed jacket.

Thanks for the post!

Scrapiana said...

Wow, what a beauty! Thanks for sharing.

Maureen said...

I truly like this one.

ista said...

The shape of the front lower edge of the jacket isn't too odd to me, based on the jackets I've looked at in museum collections. Especially for c1780

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

BeautifuL. It was a marvelous exhibition to visit...a major "vibe" experience that I truly loved, almost as much as the keyboards! Thank you for this post.

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