This fabric is a brocaded silk and was intended for ladies' gowns. The technique of brocading allowed different colours to be introduced into the pattern of a fabric in specific, sometimes very small areas. It was a more laborious process for the weaver than using patterning wefts running from selvedge to selvedge, but the resulting effect could be much more varied and lively.
The design for this silk was commissioned from the freelance silk designer Anna Maria Garthwaite by a master weaver called Mr Pulley. He does not seem to have been a regular customer and is known to have bought only two designs, this one and another for a brocaded silk in 1743.
Time & Place
Lightweight silks like this with a floral pattern brocaded in delicate colours were very fashionable for women's gowns in the early 1740s. Lengths of this silk, woven with a white rather than pink ground, were exported both to Dublin and to New York, to be made up into dresses which still survive. Overseas trade contributed significantly to the prosperity of the Spitalfields industry in the first half of the 18th century.