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Lace and fringe trimmed walking dress, ca. 1865

Contributed by Maine Historical Society
MMN Item 105502 Item Details
Lace and fringe trimmed walking dress, ca. 1865
MMN Item 105502 Zoom


After the Civil War, American-manufactured silk fabrics, threads and trimmings, along with the sewing machine, encouraged extra detailing on fashionable garments, as seen on this highly-trimmed walking dress.

The skirt illustrates the popular short basque coat style, with it's fitted jacket-like bodice. The bodice has very low set trumpet sleeves, and a wide square neckline. Its front closure buttons are all missing. The bodice is trimmed with machine-made blue fringe, knotted at the header, and black machine-made lace at the neck, peplum waist (short, gathered, slightly flared strip of fabric attached at the waist ), and sleeve cuffs.

The front of the skirt includes a V-shaped decoration, with two bands of white piping and black machine-made lace. The skirt is lined with an open weave cotton, and the bottom of the skirt is lined with a Moiré, or rippled effect, black horsehair. The inside of the bodice sleeves are also lined in horsehair.

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