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Petticoat

Petticoat

Petticoat

1840s

 

Marked in ink ‘J  A (or H) Jones’ at the centre back of the bodice

The John Bright Collection owns a number of white cotton full length petticoats from the first half of the 19th Century, two of which are included on the website (see Related Items). These garments usually mirrored the cut of the dresses under which they were worn, at the same time helping to define their silhouette. This example dates from the early 1840s with its wide neckline, extended shoulder line, buttoned back fastening, short straight sleeves and natural waistline that dips to a gentle point at the centre front. A slightly bell shaped skirt is cartridge pleated into the waist. This skirt section is woven with closely spaced horizontal ribs or cording below knee level, and slightly narrower cording on the back to below the waist which helped to hold the skirt of the dress out in the fashionable style. However, it added considerable weight to the petticoat, especially in combination with additional waist petticoats stiffened with horse hair to achieve the desired silhouette, prompting the development of the lighter weight cage crinoline in the following decade.

The petticoat has been patched below the shoulder on one side, and shows signs of having had a tuck above the cording, a common method of regulating length. All other mending is of a more recent date.

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