Sack back


The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

This modest sack-back gown of the 1760s is made of blue silk damask. The pattern of large flowers and leaves dates from about 1742. Silks pre-dating the construction of a particular dress, often by a decade or more, are quite common in 18th-century dress. Once woven, bolts of silk might be available for sale for many years, and it was not unusual for purchasers to store lengths of silk before making them up or giving them away as a gift. The high cost of woven silks meant that their value did not decrease, even as fashions changed. Characteristic of the 1760s are the double sleeve ruffles edged with a matching silk fly fringe (braid).

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  • Title: Sack back
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1760/1769
  • Location: Great Britain
  • Provenance: Given by the Surrey County Federation of Women's Institutes
  • Medium: Silk and linen, hand woven and hand sewn

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