Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Regency Fabrics, Part 3

What was up with fabrics in June 1809? Let’s have a look! As I did in the first post on Regency fabrics, I'll give you a close-up scan of each sample, the published description, and my own observations of the color, weight, condition, and similarity to present-day materials, to give you as close a picture as possible of what these fabrics are like.

Three fabrics are up for June...

The large pattern No. 1 and 2 is a new cotton for furniture called the Oriental Pink. The novelty of this article does not consist in the design, but in the pink dye, which it has been the aim of the manufacturer to render fixed and permanent, so that it may be washed without be liable to fade. The endeavours of both foreign and native chemists and manufacturers to accomplish this desirable object, with respect to reds and pinks in particular, are well known. We are happy to observe, that in this instance Mr. Allen has completely succeeded; the greatest variety of designs of this pink are now on sale at his extensive private ware-rooms, 61, Pall-Mall.

My comments: Ermegerd, PINK POLKA DOTS! Mr. Allen certainly got his color right, because this is indeed a glorious candy pink. The fabric finish is very smooth and perhaps has a very light glaze to it, like a very light-weight chintz.

No. 3 is a lilac spotted gossamer, very fashionable for full dresses, and furnished by Messrs. Coopers, silk-mercers to his Majesty, 28, Pall-Mall.

My comments: Another dress fabric that would require an underdress, as the weave is very open...and like the lilac fabric from May 1809's post, the color is more pinkish than purplish. In texture it's a little stiffer than the gauze from May.

No. 4 is a white and green coral-figured silk, much worn for mantles and pelisses. Though we in general protest against green for ladies’ wear, yet when sparingly displayed on a white ground, it produces a shade that will suit many complexions. But our ideas on this subject have already been developed in the general observations on Ladies’ Fashions, to which we beg leave to refer our fair readers. 

My comments: Now this is gorgeous stuff!  The color comes across as more light aqua than a true green, and the coral pattern is lovely. The fabric has a subtle, handsome sheen to it and a beautiful, delicate hand; though light in weight, it has a substantial feel and would drape elegantly. The caution against ladies wearing green reminds me of Georgette Heyer's Cotillion, in which the hero Freddy, a very fashion-conscious young man, constantly complains about his sister's inerringly bad eye for color.

And for somethng completely different...for any readers in eastern Massachusetts, I'll be doing a Craft Chat tonight on writing Romance at The Writers' Loft in Sherborn, MA at 7:30 pm--fortunately between this past storm and the next one on Thursday!


QNPoohBear said...

"Ermegerd, PINK POLKA DOTS!" is right! Yikes... I thought hideous taste was confined largely to the Victorian era but I see their predecessors also enjoyed gaudy. At least it's not a dress... the dress fabrics are gorgeous! I would wear either of those.

Marissa Doyle said...

I think I was most struck by the "modern" feel of the pink with polka dots--it could be from an 11-year-old girl's bedroom curtains today, don't you think? :)

haapa said...

Or the pink could be a dress colour from the 1950's. From what I have seen they liked their colours strong those days. Ugh, brr and a full-body shiver.