Slippers were worn by ladies at home during the first half of the nineteenth century. As the fashion for wearing boots when out and about grew, it became practical to adopt a new type of comfortable shoe for use exclusively in the home. Some women purchased patterns and embroidered slippers for themselves or their husbands.
Here silk braids have been stitched to the black woollen 'upper' in the shape of flowers, leaves and scrolls. The process of attaching one material to another in this way is called appliqué. The pale blue silk edging and lining were probably chosen to correspond with the pale blue of some of the flowers. The wear to the lining and insole of the slippers indicates that they were well used before entering the museum's collections in the early twentieth century.