This fabric is plain woven celery green with both stripes and flower motifs. The stripes alternate in width and design. The thin stripes are a ribbed cream; the medium stripes are a ribbed cream flanked by an unribbed cream, then a ribbed purple, and a ribbed brown; the large stripe set is a ribbed purple flanked by unribbed brown, a strip of ground fabric, unribbed cream, ribbed purple, then ribbed brown. The ribbed stripes are done with supplementary warp floats, similar in technique to 1/7 corduroy. In general, the stripes are ordered large, medium, large, small, large.

Between the stripes are colorful bundles of flowers done in discontinuous weft brocade. The bundles are share the same form, but alternate in direction and color: switching between sloping up to the right, then up to the left. Those that slope up the right have a large white rose done in boucle yarn, dark green leaves, and light pink and bright pink flowers. The other groups have the same white rose and dark green leaves, but the remaining flowers are purple and grey-pink.

The fabric also has a subtle, white floral vine motif. This is done with by floating the wefts, which are white through the fabric. Since the floated wefts are structural, the floats appear on the back in the warp.

The both the green warps and the white wefts of the ground weave are unspun filament, or lightly S-spun that has loosened further within the weave. The light pink of the brocade is S-spun. The white boucle yarn of the large flowers in the brocade is 2-ply S with one element spun tighter than the other, causing the yarn to loop around itself and ply unevenly.

The fragment appears to be a piece of a bodice from the wearer's right.

The top, left, and bottom edges are all pressed under. The top has a 1/4 inch seam allowance, the left has a 1/8 allowance (and runs along a selvedge), and the bottom has a 1/4 allowance.

There are two parallel stitch lines running vertically down the center of the fragment in a wavy pattern; this could indicate where trim had been attached. Both the trim and the left edge show thin, white Z-spun 2-ply S thread. The bottom seam shows a thicker, whiter Z-spun 2-ply S thread.

Along the left edge of the fabric are four bundles of string, most likely from securing buttons. These (and evidence for a fifth button) indicate that the buttons were placed 2 3/4, 4 1/4, 6, 8 7/8, and 10 1/2 inches from the top edge. Interestingly, instead of securing the buttons to the fabric with multiple stitches through the button's base, the thread only went through the fabric for the knot. This makes the attachment a single stitch with a length of thread wrapped around the buttons base multiple times before the thread is pushed back through the fabric.

Material/Technique

Silk


Dimensions

Overall (H x W): 12 1/2 in. x 6 1/4 in. (31.75 cm x 15.88 cm)


Credit

Purchased by the A. Alfred Taubman Acquisition Endowment Fund and partial gift of an anonymous donor, 2004


Object Number

W-2784/B


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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