Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Regency Fabrics, Part 11

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!

Today we have four fabrics from April 1810; their overall condition is moderately good, with some degeneration/fading of the dyes and foxing on #3 and #4.

No. 1. A French flowered muslin, calculated for morning dresses or lounge wraps. Sold by Waithman and Everington, No. 104, Fleet-street. 

My comments: Well, being at war with France had evidently not stopped the fashion for French things, though it's not clear if this is an actual import or just in a French style. The flowers and ribbing are woven into this loose-woven muslin, which would definitely require a lining. But I imagine it was very dainty and pretty when new.

No. 2. A figured double twilled jonquil sarsnet, adapted for the Circassian robe and Austrian tunic, now such distinguished articles in a fashionable wardrobe. The French frock, with silver fringe, is particularly elegant when composed of this material. It is sold by D. and P. Cooper, No. 28, Pall-Mall.

My comments: Oh, this is lovely stuff, and not as acid-yellow as my scanner would make it out to be. It's beautifully smooth and silken, and would drape beautifully. I did a little looking around for a description of just what a "Circassian robe" might consist of, and could not find a definitive description; the consensus seems to be that it was somehow "oriental" in appearance, perhaps featuring tassels or other eastern-influenced designs.

No. 3. An entire new rock-coral muslin for round robes or spring pelisses. The delicate and elegant union of shade which distinguishes this article, renders useless all further remark. It is sold by T. and J. Smith and Co. No. 43, Tavistock-street, Covent-Garden.

My comments: This is a much more tightly woven muslin than in No. 1--it would have to be, in order to be printed on. The print is sharp and clear though the lighter brown sections are a little wobbly.

No. 4 A double twilled imperial striped muslin, appropriated for morning wraps, evening frocks, and tunics. This article takes precedence of the plain cambric and pea-spotted muslin. It is sold by T. and J. Smith and Co. as above.

My comments: A very pretty ribbed muslin; the weave is fairly tight though lining would definitely be required under dresses.


QNPoohBear said...

I just love that first muslin. Working at the oldest cotton spinning mill in the U.S. has given me a thorough background in textile history at that time. We have a replica of the machine that made thread for muslin. It has a fascinating story involving industrial espionage!

Marissa Doyle said...

Very cool, QNPoohBear!