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Petticoat, loom-woven quilting

1760-1785
Origin: England
OL: 33"; Circumference of Skirt: 105"
Silk, cotton.
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1986-46
Woman's petticoat made of pale yellow silk, loom-quilted to cotton backing and filler. The upper portion has small-scale all-over scallops. The 8 1/2-inch wide lower border has floral and scallop patterning along the hem. A single pocket slit, is bound with silk tape that matches the silk tape binding at the hem. There is one seam.
The petticoat was constructed with the textile used sideways: the warp runs around body, not up and down. The waistband is a modern replacement.
Label:Hand-quilted petticoats were fashionable but time-consuming to stitch. Around the middle of the eighteenth century, weavers developed methods to imitate hand quilting in the loom. Although it appears to be hand quilted, this textile was actually woven as yardage for petticoats. The textile was woven with the border running lengthwise along one edge. The garment was constructed with the lengthwise direction of the textile running around the body, not up and down, creating a border at the hem.
The scrolling floral border and scalloped upper portion imitate handmade quilted petticoats. When examined closely, the stepped outlines inherent in the loom-controlled process are evident. Hand stitching would have created smoother curving lines.
Technical information:
Silk plain-woven face fabric
Cotton filling
Cotton backing