Stomacher, embroidered with printed backing
Origin: Great Britain, England
8 1/2" x 14" 10" wide with yellow tabs extended.
Ribbed silk, embroidered with silk and metallic threads, trimmed with metallic tape and cord; backed with woodblock-printed cotton with a few stray linen fibers (in the upper portion) and all linen (in the tabs).
Acc. No. 1993-45
Woman's stomacher of triangular shape with curved sides and top, with elongated decorative tabs at bottom waistline. Stomacher is white ribbed silk, embroidered with silks in tightly-coiling floral and leaf pattern, overlaid with gold metallic tape and cord laced across the embroidery. Stomacher comes to arrowhead peak at bottom, flanked by three tabs on either side of the center point. Borders of the stomacher are plain, undecorated silk, with yellow ribbed tabs, three on each side, for pinning to gown. The back or lining of the stomacher is two different woodblock printed textiles in coiling floral pattern with dots shading the leaves and serrated flowers, crudely printed in dark brown on white (possibly once purple). The textile backing the main portion of the stomacher is cotton (with a few stray linen fibers); the backing of the tabs is linen printed in a very similar pattern. There is a shallow pocket at the top of the stomacher between the front and the backing.
Label:Early printed cottons seldom survived the years of laundering and daily wear. Dark colors of black, brown, or purple were especially vulnerable due to the long-term damaging effects of the mordants used to dye the colors. The rare printed textile on the back endured only because it was used to line the embroidered stomacher that was worn infrequently and saved for its beauty.