The fragment consists of a weft-faced, unbalanced plain weave with floated brocade. The pattern consists of a vertical, serpentine vine motif with flowers, berries, and leafs. A small amount of lace patterning complements the semi-naturalistic floral motif. The pattern repeats vertically every 6 inches, and horizontally every 2 1/2 inches. The pattern is executed by floating, additional continuous wefts.

The small repeat, semi-naturalism, serpentine, and lace pattern suggest a date in the 1750s or 1760s.

The fragment has a seam along the left edge with an allowance of 1/2 inch. The allowance of the previously adjacent fabric remains, and is along the selvedge. While the thread of the connecting seam is no longer attached to the fabric, the running stitch felling the allowance remains and matches the green silk or linen thread used in selvedge seams of fragments from the same garment.

The fragment was accompanied with a note saying, "A piece of one of Martha Washington's gowns, presented to Mrs. E. B. A. Rathbone by Mrs. Gen. Heth; Washington June 8, 1893."





Silk/ floated weft brocade


Overall: 2 1/2 in. (6.35 cm)
Other (Design Repeat): 6 in. x 2 1/2 in. (15.24 cm x 6.35 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Harriet Seldon Heth, 1893

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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