A woman's gown of white cotton muslin, roller-printed in wide scalloped stripes of dense vermicelli pattern in beige separating with vertical coloured festoons of coloured flowers, leaves, ribbon bows and tassels. The gown is open at the front with separate bodice and skirt, seamed at the waist. It has elbow-length sleeves, shaped over the elbow, trimmed with a narrow band of the cotton. The bodice meets at the centre front. The bodice and sleeves are lined with bleached linen. The back is cut in 4 pieces tapering at the waist. The skirt is made of 3 widths of cotton, flat-pleated into the waist.

The gown was altered, probably in the late 1780s, to update the style and possibly for a larger wearer. The back of the gown was originally pointed at the waist, with casings stitched in the lining for two bones. The bodice was removed from the skirt, the bones removed and the skirt sewn back about 2.5 cm higher on the bodice and straight across the back waist. A 4 cm band of cotton was added on either side of the front opening, with corresponding addition to the bodice lining. A line of stitching 1 cm from the front neckline on either side was added to create a casing for a narrow linen tape drawstring.


  • Title: Gown
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1780/1789
  • Location: England
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 147.0 cm shoulder to hem at centre back approx, Circumference: 113.5 cm bust under armholes approx, Width: 100.5 cm cotton, selvedge to selvedge
  • Medium: Cotton, linen, linen thread; hand-woven, roller-printed, hand-sewn

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