Baby clothes in the past have often had many years of use, and were passed on round and down families for use with each new child. The everyday items such as nappies were often made of strong fabrics to withstand boiling, bleaching, and ironing, but do not always survive.
Finely embroidered garments like this long gown were for best wear, and were cherished and preserved for as long as possible. They were skillfully mended where necessary, and many show beautifully worked darns. This gown has been mended on the bodice, and the area round the waist has been reinforced and then covered with a carefully applied band of white embroidery. Sometimes two or more garments were combined to make one new one.