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This black velvet has a plain weave base with a supplementary warp cut pile. The fabric is relatively thin and flexible, which may mean that the pile was not significantly think in relation to the base weave structure, but may also be from shedding of the pile. Until synthetic dyes were produced, black was made by mixing multiple dark colors; the involved process would have made this garment more expensive than lighter fabrics of the same weave.

The left side shows a red selvedge with four yellow stripes. The selvedge is basted under with 2-ply S black thread for three inches starting at the top edge of the fabric. There is evidence of a seam along that same edge that had been held with black thread. A line of running stitches is also evident 1 3/4 inches from the top edge.

The unusual shape does not suggest construction, so it is probably from piecing the fragment.


18th Century




Overall: 12 in. x 19 3/8 in. (30.48 cm x 49.21 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Walter Gibson Peter, Jr. in memory of Agnes Peter Mott, 1975

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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