Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Regency Fabrics, Part 27

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.

Today’s three samples are from the November 1812 issue of Ackermann’s Repository. The overall condition of my copy is excellent; the page itself is free of foxing and is hardly toned. Two of the three samples show some discoloration where they were glued to the page, but overall they’re in very good condition.

Here we go!

No. 1 and 2 is an entirely new article for white beds and other furniture, which we have been favored with from the house of Millard in the city; it has a beautiful effect in the piece, and produces a rich appearance when made up. This handsome manufacture will be found desirable to persons who have large establishments to furnish for, as it wants no lining, and is sold by the piece at a very reasonable price; this and various other fashionable articles at Millard’s, being disposed of on a liberal plan. We understand considerable purchases of curious foreign articles have been made by this house at the late great Custom-House sales.

My comments: Interesting fabric—alternating stripes of plain weave and twill weave, with an overall jacquard botanical pattern overlying the stripes. An intermediate weight cotton (my guess), with a light glazing like chintz. It would definitely make handsome window draperies or bed curtains.

No. 3 is a specimen of a new and beautiful manufacture for ladies’ winter dresses, from the above house, where it may be obtained in any quantity, and of various colours. It does not exceed mediocrity in price, although it possesses the useful property of never creasing in the wear; added to which, it resembles the genuine China crape, by its falling naturally into the most graceful folds.

My comments: Another interesting fabric, and not just because it’s orange with black polka-dots. 😀 I’m trying to figure out the fiber content: wool/silk maybe? It definitely has a crepe-like texture, twill-woven with slightly uneven threads. I can see that it would drape well; it’s also opaque, though for a winter dress a lining would be preferred.

No. 4 is a pattern of a chaste and elegantly figured sarsnet silk, for a lady’s evening dress. It is of a most pleasing colour, of neat fabric, and of a very delicate texture. It is sold by Messrs. George and Bradley, the Golden Key, Holy-well-street, Strand.

My comments: I’ll have to agree with Mr. Ackermann’s assessment of this “article” as being elegant and delicate. Finely woven silk in a handsome diamond pattern, of a pale mauve-ish pink—it’s difficult to tell if there has been any fading or other color alteration over the centuries. Curiously, the scan doesn't show that the diamonds are actually of white satin-stitch weave with pink centers. Because of its delicacy, it would probably need to have been worn over a slip. Lovely!

What do you think of this month’s fabrics?

1 comment:

QNPoohBear said...

Orange with polka dots would be great for a Halloween party but otherwise I'll pass. The furniture fabric is really nice and I can see using it if I had a house. That last one is gorgeous! Likely there is some fading due to the natural dyes. Thank you as always for sharing.