Here’s another post in our ongoing series on Regency fabrics.
As I have in previous posts, I’ll be examining actual fabric samples glued into several earlier editions of Ackermann’s Repository, samples supplied by the manufacturers and published by Ackermann in order to boost the British cloth-making industry at a time when exporting British goods to Europe was almost impossible because of the Napoleonic war. I'll give you a close-up scan of each sample, the published description if available, 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.
So here we go!
We have four fabrics from October 1809; overall condition is very good, considering their age, apart from some browning on sample one where it was glued to the page.
No. 1. An entirely new corded muslin for morning and afternoon dresses, particularly adapted for the intermediate style of decoration for the morning wrap, or simple evening frock. Footing lace, or beading, is better calculated to ornament this article than needle-work. Many ladies, indeed, wear it without any embellishment, the rich and striking contrast of the cord being of itself a sufficient relief. Children’s trowsers, formed of this material, have a very neat and appropriate effect. It is sold by Messrs. Brisco and Powley, 103, New-bond-street, at 6s. per yard.
My comments: This is a very fine, lightweight fabric, but I expect that with the cording it will drape nicely. Because of its sheerness, it definitely requires a lining and/or a petticoat underneath.
My comments: I wish my scan had reproduced it better--this is lovely stuff indeed! It’s heavier and more opaque than the first sarsnet, with a soft sheen and very attractive pale buff color. But at only a half-yard wide, it would take a lot of it to make a gown—at 7definitely an upscale item.
My comments: Ah, pomona green, that most Regency of colors (if you're a Georgette Heyer fan, that is!) Again, the pattern reminds me of nothing so much as 1930s quilt fabric; what isn't as visible in this scan is that the fabric is finely diagonally ribbed. It's a little heavier in weight and indeed has a very silky hand due to the fineness of its threads and the tight weave.
My comments: This is nowhere as nice a fabric as the print above, being of a coarser weave (though the threads are finely woven)--no wonder readers are cautioned it must be worn over another fabric! It does not strike me as a fabric for a ball or evening dress, but evidently tastes have changed!