Sack back (1)


The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The rosettes in the fringe (braid) of this sack-back gown are made of coils of floss silk. Composed of contrasting or graduated shades of white, pink and maroon, some of the rosettes have been wired, allowing them to stand out from the gown. The fringe itself is made of a core thread of linen, wrapped in dark green silk with short knotted tufts of white and green silk. The overall effect, like most fly fringe, is to mimic a twisting stem sprouting tiny leaves and flowers.

The green and white satin has additional shaded stripes of darker green and brown. Such patterns of complex and subtly coloured stripes are characteristic of 1760s dress fabrics. Individual sprays of pansies, morning glories, auriculas, carnations, bluebells and roses, embroidered in chenille thread, echo the floral theme of the fringe.

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  • Title: Sack back (1)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1760/1770
  • Location: England
  • Physical Dimensions: Width: 52.5 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge
  • Provenance: Given by Miss E. M. Cooke
  • Medium: Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread;hand-woven, hand-sewn

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