Regency Fashion – Muslin and Net Period
As everyone knows, I love all posts by Vic at Jane Austen’s World on Clothing and Fashion.
Here she talks about – Regency Fashion: The Muslin and Net Period. And I was lucky enough to see many of these very fashion items at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Jane Austen fans are familiar with the high-waisted muslin dresses popular during her adulthood.
How many are aware that machine-made net or gauze became a “hot” item from 1810 and on?
Evening dress with gauze overlay
“Net dresses were very fashionable and their popularity was spurred by new inventions. The development of machine-made net in the late 18th and early 19th centuries meant that gauzy lace effects were increasingly affordable either as trimmings or garments. The bobbin-net machine was patented by the Englishman John Heathcoat in 1808 and produced a superior net identical to the twist-net grounds of hand-made bobbin lace. It was so successful that women in the highest ranks of society, including the Emperor Napoleon’s first wife, Josephine, wore machine-net dresses. Initially, however, all machine nets were plain and had to be embroidered by hand.” – Victoria and Albert
Detail of an evening dress with net lace. Image @Victoria & Albert Collection
Machine-made bobbin net was first made in France in 1818. Until this date, lace as it was made was known as old lace. After that date, lace is categorized as being modern.
Read the rest of her fascinating look at Fashion at Jane Austen’s World.