COLLECTION: Costumes

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Woman's Quilted Petticoat, heart design

ca. 1775
Origin: America, New England
Overall (flat): 34 x 56 1/4in. (86.4 x 142.9cm); Circumference about 112 1/2 in.
Silk, wool
Gift of Bette Ann Van Noy
Acc. No. 2016-123
Woman's pale blue ribbed silk petticoat, now missing waistband and pleats and shaped as a flattened cylinder. The petticoat, or skirt, is quilted to beige plain-woven wool backing through woolen batting using silk running stitches. The quilting is worked with 8 to 12 running stitches per inch in blue. The quilted design consists of a central heart, surrounded by mirrored scrolling flowers, vines, and leaves. The hem has an undulating feathered vine. There is evidence for three pocket slits, all stitched shut, suggesting later remodeling. A section of the petticoat is missing from the back at the seam.
Label:Women in the eighteenth century often wore full skirts, or "petticoats," hand quilted with floral or geometric designs. Intended to be seen through the open fronts of women's gowns, quilted petticoats added warmth and elegance to their wardrobes. This petticoat came with tags stating that it was worn with a wedding dress in 1775 by a woman named Rebecca Hayden. Genealogical research has not yet confirmed which of several Rebecca Haydens was the original wearer, although the graceful heart quilted into the front of the petticoat is a fitting motif for a bride. The face side of the petticoat is pale blue silk, hand quilted with silk threads through woolen batting and backing.