The Bacton Altar Cloth

The Bacton Altar Cloth is an extraordinary example of what appears to be very high quality English late 16th or early 17th-century embroidery, in polychrome silks and gold wrapped threads worked upon a cream-coloured silver chamblet silk (or cloth-of-silver). This textile, which may once have formed part of a garment of some kind, has been…

Restoration-style (1660s-1680s) Shift, Smock or Chemise

The shift (or smock, or chemise) was a basic linen undergarment worn by women throughout the early modern period. Some examples of seventeenth-century shifts survive in museums and collections, and you can find examples and details about a few of them in books like Patterns of Fashion 4 and Seventeenth-century Dress Patterns. However, so far…

Jacobean ‘Cottagecore’: Cultural Meanings of Floral Imagery in the Seventeenth Century

Laura Ashley prints, pastoral themes in Romantic literature and art movements like Pre-Raphealitism, Art Nouveau, Baroque and Arts and Crafts have left modern viewers of art and textiles with cultural ideas about the meaning of floral embroidery and floral imagery which would not have featured in the conciousness of a Jacobean audience. Our impressions of…