Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Regency Fabrics, Part 22

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’s four samples are from the August 1810 issue of Ackermann’s Repository (yes, we’ve gone back in time a bit, as I recently acquired this print.) The overall condition of my copy is very good: the page itself is almost free of foxing and toning, and the samples are in good shape as well, with perhaps a bit of brown spotting.

No. 1 and 2. A fast-coloured deep cerulean blue furniture chintz, calculated for the decoration of drawing-rooms, boudoirs, and sleeping-rooms. The linings best contrasted with this fashionable article, are, bright yellow, rose colour, or crimson, with variegated Chinese fringe. It is sold, with various other kinds of permanent chintz furniture, at Mr. Allen’s celebrated furniture ware-house, Pall-Mall.

My comments: This is a nicely weighty, close-woven, and deeply glazed chintz, in a lovely shade of blue. The printing seems a little off (look at the leaves in particular), and the design is a little less elegant than other Regency chintzes we’ve seen.

No. 3. An imperial fancy striped cambric muslin, calculated for frocks, pelisse wraps, and every kind of morning robe. Lace may be introduced in this article, although we very frequently see it made up plain, with double plaited trimming of muslin or scalloped lace, simply forming a border at its terminations. This article is sold by Edwards and Co. Hay’s-court, Newport-market.

My comments: Oh, so very pretty! This is extraordinarily light and airy fabric; the thread is very evenly spun which makes for a nice tight weave. The cable design (thinking like a knitter here) is nicely done as well. Of course it would have to be made with a lining, but is one of the prettiest muslins I think I’ve yet examined.

No. 4. A raised corded leno, appropriate to the evening or dinner robe. It is frequently worn over coloured sarsnet or satin slips, and offers a very pleasing change for summer wear. No lace or needlework can be introduced to advantage in this light article, except as a trimming round the bottom or bosom; and the under dress cannot (from the transparent texture of the leno) be composed of any article of an inferior order. It is also sold by Edwards and Co. Newport-market.

My comments: Although not as pretty as No. 3 above, this is also woven of very fine (in all senses of the word) thread and would indeed be very pretty over a colored slip—pale pink or blue, perhaps? Definitely debutante wear. J

Any thoughts on this month’s fabrics?

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