Banyans, or loose robes, were worn over a gentleman's shirt, waistcoat, and breeches in the intimate setting of his own home. They were made using a variety of imported textiles, from cotton and wool to heavily brocaded silks. This printed cotton banyan owned by George Washington was perhaps worn by him during the warm Virginia summer months, when lightweight fabrics were preferable. The open garment could have afforded Washington some comfort as he addressed the affairs of Mount Vernon from his Study.


Loose fitting, T-form banyan made of plain weave cotton printed on the bias with a pattern of red and blue check; body of garment constructed of two lengths of fabric, joined with a flat felled seam at center back; the length of fabric on the proper right side is composed of two pieces of fabric seamed together at the lower back; body of garment is gathered at center back to join a shawl collar; the fullness of the proper right sleeve is taken in by darts just below the edges of the collar on the proper right side front and back shoulder; the darts on the proper left back and front shoulders appear to have deteriorated, leaving only a vertical loss; gores on lower front and back sides sewn to body with butted selvedge seams; numerous stains sprinkled across the skirt and on the proper right arm; several areas of patches and darning.







Overall: 61 1/4 in. x 69 in. (155.58 cm x 175.26 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1962

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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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