Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Regency Fabric, Part 36

 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 December 1813 issue of Ackermann’s Repository. The overall condition of my copy is very good: the paper itself is only lightly toned and has minimal spotting.

Here we go!


No. 1 and 2 is a new pattern for furniture, from the extensive warehouse of Mr. Allen, No. 61, Pall-Mall; where a great variety of new designs, of the most tasteful and attractive invention, are continually succeeding each other; and where many elegant patterns, of last season’s introduction, are selling at reduced prices.—The specimen here given, admits of almost every shade of lining and fringe, from the brilliant rose-colour, to the more cool and softer shades of pea-green and jonquil. Drawing-rooms, boudoirs, and sleeping-rooms, appear to advantage decorated with this species of furniture.

My comments: This does not quite feel like a chintz—the threads are not as fine and even as most chintzes—but seems weighty enough to drape nicely. It’s a touch drab, though—nothing I’d especially want in my drawing room.

No. 3 is a superfine orange Merino cloth, calculated for ladies’ dresses, mantles, and pelisses, which we confidently expect to be the favourite colour for the season, in compliment to our new friends the Dutch. It admits of a great variety of trimming, as fur, satin, velvet, or Chinese floss, and gimp ornaments. It may be purchased of every colour, and is sold by Messrs. Kestevens, York-street, Covent-Garden.

My comments: I certainly can’t accuse this sample of drabness! It’s autumn woven into fabric—not a color one usually associates with Regency dresses. Being Merino, I imagine it would make a warm and lightweight garment. Not as smooth as a challis, say—the weave is not as smooth. But very cozy!

 No.4 is a delicate and choice article for gentlemens waistcoats; and, when trimmed with sable or other Russian skin, offers a becoming and seasonable article for gentlemens winter wear. It is sold by the same house as the preceding.


My comments: A very handsome fabric indeed—a sort of heavy corded silk, perhaps?—with a fine brown stripe…but what I want to know is how the writer of this description thought fur should come into the picture. As a lining, perhaps? I certainly can’t imagine a fur trim as we think of “trimming”, but a sable-lined waistcoat would be seasonable indeed!

What do you think of this month’s fabrics?

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