COLLECTION: Costumes

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Woman's gown or jacket, India Chintz

1775-1785
Origin: France, Indian textile
OL: 36"; Waist about 27"; Selvage width: 35 1/2"; Thread counts: linings 37 x 33 and 52 x 52; Primary textile 120 x 92
Cotton, mordant-painted and resist dyed; cotton bodice lining; linen sleeve lining
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1953-736
Woman's fitted gown or jacket with thigh-length skirt made of floral pattern Indian chintz in reds, lavenders, blue, and green. Low neckline is slightly squared in front and has false, or sewn-in, stomacher fastened at center-front with hooks and eyes and ending in rounded tabs below the waist. Front bodice is overlaid with a self-fabric flap trimmed with shirring for holding down a kerchief. The skirt is open in front to reveal a petticoat (the matching petticoat does not survive). Fitted sleeves end in cuffs. The bodice is pleated and fitted to the body at the back, sometimes called an "English back." Garment is lined in bodice and skirt with white plain-woven cotton. Sleeves are lined with plain-woven linen. The gown is constructed with back stitches.
Note: Photographed with antique kerchief and ruffles and worsted petticoat #1955-241.
Label:Although constructed of beautiful imported India chintz, this jacket was made in an informal style appropriate for casual and daytime occasions. Probably called a “Caraco” in the period, the jacket is constructed with a false stomacher stitched to the bodice and fastened at the center front with hooks and eyes. A tab across the front holds a neck handkerchief, or kerchief, in position. Indian chintzes were prized for their beauty as well as practicality, because the colorful patterns could be successfully washed without harm.