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.

This fragment appears to be a piece of a bodice front on the wearer's right. It shows six buttonholes down the left edge that are not evenly spaced, but are all around 1 1/2 inch apart. The holes are secured with green Z-spun 2-ply S thread. A plain woven linen interfacing is present on the reverse of the fabric and secured in the buttonhole stitches. It may originally have stretched across the full width of the fabric as the garment lining. The finished left edge is held with running stiches in white thread with an allowance of 1/4 inch. The seam allowance contains a selvedge with four green stripes. The neckline and the right edge are also pressed under for now-removed seams. The bottom edge is unfinished and shows no stitch lines (which is unusual unless the bottom edge was cut from above the bodices bottom seam).

Thin Z-spun 2-ply S threads are inserted throughout the center of the fragment, perhaps from securing now-removed ruffles or other accessory structures.

The left side (center opening of the bodice) measures 9 1/4 inches. The neckline is 3 1/2 inches wide before it rises up for 2 1/2. The right side measures 11 1/4 inches. The bottom measures 5 1/2 inches.

Date

1760-1780


Material/Technique

Silk


Dimensions

Overall (H x W): 11 1/4 in. x 5 1/2 in. (28.58 cm x 13.97 cm)


Credit

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


Object Number

W-2784/G


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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