Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Regency Fabrics, Part 33

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 September 1813 issue of Ackermann’s Repository. The overall condition of my copy is excellent, though a little closely trimmed on the outside edge; the page itself is free of foxing and is only slightly toned. The samples themselves are in very good condition, with a bit of toning in the top sample.

Here we go!

No. 1 and 2 is a Chinese chintz, for drawing-room, boudoir, and sleeping-room furniture. This lively and cheerful article admits a lining and fringe of any colour; but those of pea-green, pink, and blue exhibit it to most advantage. It is from the house of Mr. Allen, Pall-Mall, whose superb and extensive ware-rooms stand unrivalled in point of variety, taste, and cheapness.

My comments: This chintz is of the usual weight but heavily glazed, and honestly not very well printed. I do wonder if the bits showing as a slightly purplish taupe were originally green, because otherwise the recommendation to trim anything made with it in pea-green seem a tad jarring.

No. 3. A unique and elegant article for ladies’ robes, pelisses, mantles, and scarfs, styled the Vittoria striped gauze. Trimmings for this article may be of silver, white beads, or lace, with fancy gimps and fringe of the same shade. It is sold by Wm. King, 44, Pall-Mall. 

My comments: A very pretty primrose-yellow silk, in a striped pattern featuring dots, chevrons, and open-weave. It seems a bit too lightweight for pelisses or mantles, even with a lining, but as an evening dress, would be a winner. Very dainty and elegant indeed.



No.4. A figured Manchester muslin, calculated for domestic wear. Robes of this article are frequently formed high in the neck, with full long sleeves; cuffs and collar of fine needle-work, or lace, a correspondent belt and clasp confining it at the bottom of the waist; and is sometimes trimmed at the feet with a full silk fringe, of the same shades. This article is sold by Waithman and Son, corner of Bridge-street, Blackfriars.


My comments: The scan is not doing this sample justice, because this is gorgeous stuff! A fine silk muslin, but with enough body that it would hang gracefully. The sheen is lovely (again, the scan is disappointing), and in daylight this fabric almost looks shot (woven with contrasting threads.) This fabric seems wasted on “domestic wear”—it’s definitely attractive enough to appear in any occasion outside the house. What do you think of this month’s fabrics? Fancy a dress in one?

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