ca. 1804 Directoire period cotton gauze dress

These images are posted on The left image has this caption, "Directoire-period cotton gauze dress, c.1800. The sheer cotton mull fabric (muslin) of the dress bears little resemblance to modern muslin. Originally made only in India, "muslin" (c.1800) referred to a variety of cloths woven from very finely spun cotton yarns. The resulting cloth was transparent and gauze-like. The dress features a bib front bodice held in place with a pin on each side. The bodice and cuffs are embellished with handmade bobbin lace that has a drochel ground." The upper right image has this caption, "It measures: about 32" bust, 26" sleeve length, and 52" from shoulder to front hem." The lower right image has this caption, "The constrained pattern of the lace is typical of the Neoclassical period. The superbly shaped back of the dress ends in a graceful train." I have read structured bodices returned about 1804 and this dress has a structured bodice, the reason it is included. This was presumably made for nursing.

The dress was on auction at Vintage Textile, an active business, but the links were not connecting.

This complex garment is a slim dress, presumably worn over an opaque chemise. It is probably made in the U.S.A. - it's the early 1800s, not the 21st century.

Keywords:  square neckline, long tight sleeves, bib bodice, Empire low waistline, close skirt, train, nursing dress

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