Author: Corinne Thepaut-Cabasset

“P” for Pattern Book: Norwich Textiles exported to Central and South America in 1763.

“There are other woollen fabrics coming from England, whose consumption is even more important than drapery. (…) All these fabrics are as highly esteemed in Mexico as they are in Spain (…). Indeed, some manufactured in France are even finer than those produced in Spain, but nevertheless those made in…

“F” for Feathers: Symbols of European Rulers in the Renaissance. Les plumes : symboles des rois de la Renaissance. Chloé Nevicato, MA in History and Anthropology, University of Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Dans l’imagerie de l’Amérique ibérique, la plume tient une place majeure. Pour les indiens de l’Amazonie, le mythe, dit de l’origine de la couleur des oiseaux, permet par exemple de comprendre les symboles des plumasseries. Un monstre cannibale ou un immense serpent, par exemple, semait alors la terreur parmi les…

“F” for Feather: Pre Hispanic Feather Textiles from Peru, Lena Bjerregaard, Centre for Textile Research, SAXO Institute, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Organic material remains for thousands of years, when there is no humidity, no light, no air. In the graves along the coast of Peru such conditions are present, and textiles, feathers, bone, straw etc. have been preserved for thousands of years. Feather Tunic, Pachacamac, 12-1500 AD. Ethnological Museum, Berlin, V…

“F” for Spanish Fashion: Fashion in Las Meninas by Velázquez in 17th century Spain. Amalia Descalzo Lorenzo, Professor of Culture and Fashion at ISEM Fashion Business School, Universidad de Navarra, Madrid

There is no doubt that the painting, universally known as “Las Meninas”, is the most famous work of Don Diego de Silva Velázquez (Seville, 1599-Madrid, 1660). This painting has been the subject of many studies but perhaps one aspect that has been overlooked by most scholars is the importance of…

“T” for Trade: 18th century Handkerchiefs – The Swedish East India Company Trade. Viveka Hansen, Textile Historian, The IK Foundation, (UK)

The aim with this study is to focus on a small branch of the Swedish East India Company’s dealing in fabrics used for handkerchiefs. Observations from my earlier research related to Carl Linnaeus and his “Apostles”, a hand-written Swedish account book from one of the Company’s ships and preserved pieces…

“N” for New Habits: New Goods from the New World. Nadia Fernández de Pinedo, Associate Professor at the Department of Economic Studies, Universidad Autonóma, Madrid

“Creoles take a lot of chocolate and atole but much better than the one made by the Indians.” (Translated from Jean de Monségur, 1709, chap. VII) De español y negra, mulata, Casta painting, Andrés de Islas, 1774, oil on canvas, 75 x 54 cm. Madrid, Museo de América, Inv. 1980/03/04De…

“S” for Shoes: A gendered shoe from 17th century-Copenhagen. Vivi Lena Andersen, Curator and Archaeologist at the Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark

Shoes were invented 40.000 years ago. Presumably for protection against extreme cold, hot or rocky surfaces and poisonous animals and plants, but shoes became much more than a simple garment for protection. It also became a tool for social survival. Male Shoe, Leather, 17th century, Museum of CopenhagenMale Shoe, Leather,…

“L” IS FOR LYON. THE MARKETING AMBITIONS OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH MERCHANT MANUFACTURERS, OR WHERE DID ALL THE LYONNAIS SILKS GO? LESLEY MILLER, SENIOR CURATOR OF TEXTILES, VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON/PROFESSOR OF DRESS AND TEXTILE HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW

Lyon in the south-east of France was by the late 17th century the silk-weaving capital of Europe, its products ranging from simple, lightweight plain silks to elaborate brocaded silks woven with silver and gold. It was to these patterned silks that the city owed its reputation, as designers created new…

“Y” for Yellow Moiré silk Dress. Laura G. García-Vedrenne, M Phil student in Textile Conservation, Centre for Textile Conservation, University of Glasgow.

A stunning yellow moiré dress from the early 18th century is conserved in the collection of the National Museum of History in Mexico City. This dress consists of two parts: a bodice that closes at the front, and a skirt that was probably worn with a small panier underneath. Both…

“H” for Headdress: The Gandaya, a colourful silk knitted bonnet in Global-Spain. Victoria de Lorenzo, MA alumni at the Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

According to the 1803 dictionary of the Real Academia Española, gandaya meant both ‘type of hair bonnet’ and ‘mischievous, idle, free living’. No scholar has ever paid attention to the relationship between these two meanings and the majismo. The gandaya was a headdress usually knitted, colourful and, depending on the…

“R” for Refashioning Fashion Plates in Early Modern Europe. Pascale Cugy & Corinne Thépaut-Cabasset

To the anonymous mannequins standing in fashion plates, the Bonnarts rapidly added portraits of high- ranking people from the Court. Repeating the same formal codes, these “portraits in mode” speculated on the celebrity of people from the Court, by adding to the stereotype image of a young and elegant man…

“W” for Wool: War and Worsteds / Words and Things. Exploring the market for woollen textiles in early-modern Spanish America. John Styles, Research Professor in History, University of Hertfordshire, UK

With a population of between 6 and 8 million in 1700, larger than the Netherlands, Denmark, or England, the Spanish colonies in the Americas constituted a vast, wealthy market for a wide variety of European textiles. Despite local colonial production of woollen and cotton fabrics, Spanish American consumers were heavily…

“C” for Court Dress: An elaborate masterpiece made of green silk velvet, 1780-1790. Laura G. García-Vedrenne, Conservator, National Museum of History, Mexico

“Besides, the consumption of all sorts of silk fabrics should be seen in Mexico as the main point of its commerce; clergy men, gentlemen, merchants, bourgeois, artisans, craftsmen and even Africans and mulatto, they all dress in silk for most part of the year. Therefore Spain, together with France, should…

“S” for Stockings for children. Charlotte Rimstad, Ph. D. Student, Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen

  Fig. 1. Child stocking with anthropomorphic clock. KBM 3827 RHP, FO213753  Fig. 2. Stocking for a child, with the garter sewn on. 1941:146CFig. 3. Heel in garter stitches on a child stocking. KBM 1455 x1Stockings for children are rarely found in museum collections, but they do exist. The Museum…

“G” for Garters:

“Stockings embroidered with gold and silver, and garters: very few assortments of this type of stockings would be sold, but as was noted in the article on silk stockings, they should be wider from the calf down to the heal, like those from Genoa. Having said that, those produced in…

“S” for Stockings: Made in Europe – but where? Edwina Ehrman, Curator of Textiles and Fashion, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Pair of women’s stockings of knitted silk, made in Spain, mid 18th Century. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, T.156-1971Detail, pair of women’s stockings of knitted silk, made in Spain, mid 18th Century. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, T.156-1971Detail, pair of women’s stockings of knitted silk, made in Spain, mid 18th…