Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Ack’s Back! Or, Regency Fabrics, Part 1
These plates included both dress fabrics and upholstery or household use fabrics; in addition, there were a few plates with paper samples for artists. So if a young lady was smitten with a certain figured sarsenet, she could go directly to the warehouse that carried it (addresses of where to purchase them were thoughtfully included) and buy her new spring dresses.
I thought it might be fun to take an up-close look at some of these from my collection. I’ll periodically post them in chronological order, and include the printed description if I have them. Quality and state of preservation will vary—remember, the art of dyeing was not advanced—and I’ll try to give you an idea of both, as well as my observations of the weight and feel of the fabrics, which might not always translate via a scanned image. I hope these will be of use not only to writers of historical fiction, but also to anyone with an interest in early 19th century fashion and textiles. And, you know, they're just kind of cool to look at. Enjoy!
From April 1809—overall condition appears to be good, without much fading or change in 200 years:
ALLEGORICAL WOODCUT, WITH PATTERNS OF BRITISH MANUFACTURE
My comments: Today, I would call this a very lightly glazed chintz--it is about of that weight and slightly glossy appearance
My comments: The scan isn't adequately conveying the sheen of this sample, which is quite lovely. It's a fairly light-weight fabric but tightly woven and completely opaque, and would probably drape nicely.
My comments: This almost reminds me of a dotted swiss, but with the dots on lines. It's a lighter muslin weave, so would definitely require a lining.
What do you think? Do you want more of these?