Quilted Clothing in the Victoria & Albert Museum

Quilted Clothing in the Victoria & Albert Museum

 The quilted clothing in the Victoria & Albert Museum collection in London, England has a wealth of historical items. Yes, there are more modern items than the three items here that pertain to the 1700’s women’s clothing.

Petticoats:

According to the information on this petticoat that is currently in storage, it was made in Great Britain between 1740-1770. It is made of silk, wool, and linen.  

Petticoats were a normal part of woman’s clothing during at least the 18th century in Europe and America. They were worn under other skirts or dresses. Or they were worn as shown to be shown off.

QUILTED CLOTHING IN THE VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM
Item # T.306-1982 of the Textile & Fashion Collection – photo from V&A museum

Dresses with Petticoats:

Another item at the V&A is this beautiful, quilted dress made in Italy during the 1720s to 1780s. While the story of this dress is not really mentioned in the information, it was common for clothing to be handed down or remade. 

Fabric was expensive and would not be thrown out until there was nothing useful left.  This dress and petticoat set is made of wool and silk.

Plus, for women’s clothing styles, there was the added issue of changing styles, and pregnancy. This item is currently in storage.

Quilted Dress
Item #T.730A-1913 in the Textile & Fashion Collection – photo from V&A Museum

Pockets:

Pockets were not sewn into women’s clothing during the 1700’s.  This quilted pocket was made during the 1760s – 1770s in England.  Made of linen cloth. It would have been tied around the waist and accessed by an opening in the gown seams.

Pockets came in all types of designs and fabric. Some pockets were plain fabric, others were beautifully embroidered or quilted. To some extent, where a person was in society would determine the fabric and embellishment.

quilted pocket
Item #T.150-1970 in the Textile & Fashion Collection – photo from V&A museum

QUILTED CLOTHING IN THE VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM:

I had an enjoyable hour looking through this the Textile & Fashion Collection at the V&A Museum website. Even if you are not a history buff, you might find an idea for a quilt. Or a quilting design to use on your next quilt.

If you are interested in Old World quilts, check here for an exhibition.

As quilters, we are building on the skills and lives of those quilters who came before us. It is good to stop and think how far we have come with available fabrics, tools, and patterns. Just think, we have more “leisure time” to enjoy quilting than previous generations.

No matter what type of quilts and quilting you prefer, all of us can appreciate the time and effort each of these items took to complete. Take a virtual trip through time. Happy quilting.

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

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