In an earlier post, I mentioned there were some beautiful chintz gowns in the India rooms at the V&A. There were three on display, two of which I have seen before. The third, the embroidered gown on the right in the picture above, was new to me. I think it's my favorite of the three. It has tons of darning and patching, which I always love to investigate.
First, a printed fabric from South-east India, made up in the 1770's.
I'm curious to whether the white "stomacher" is original to the dress. It didn't say.
It is interesting that of the panels, which hook across the bodice, five are printed and the sixth (middle left) is all white. Was this a later repair?
In the picture below, you can't really see anything, but in person, I had a view of the inside of the hem, inside the dress. The few inches I could see were a different print that the outside. I don't know if the skirt is lined, the hem is lined or the reverse of the fabric was a different print.
The print looked like a beige or tan ground, with a small floral print, in a darker shade.
The hem of the dress is encased in net, which I'm assuming is a museum thing. Anyone know?
This next dress, my favorite of the three, is not printed, but embroidered in a very fine chain stitch. You can't tell it's not printed until you get right up to it.
This dress has a ton of piecing and patching and darning. One reason for the piecing: the fabric dates from the 40's and the dress from the 80's. Perhaps the fabric was a dress in the 40's and remade in the 80's, accounting for a lot a of the piecing. The darning? Well worn, I guess.
The center front, shown below is pretty much riddled with some stitch or patch or piece. The arms as well, further down are pieced quite a bit. Unfortunately, as all museums have dim light (good for the exhibits, bad for the photos), the detail is hard to make out.
The third gown was made up in Holland, while the first two were english. This gown also has some interesting piecing across the front of the bodice, as you will see further down.
The fabric is a painted chintz, over printed with little gold dots. The sign below explains a little further how that was accomplished.
Below, you can see some of the piecing across the front. You can also see how one side has tabs and the other does not. When this dress was put away, were the tabs coming off or being put on?