Printed cotton petticoat filled with down
A full-length petticoat made from brightly coloured printed cotton in vibrant Turkey Red, green and yellow. The lower part of the petticoat is quilted in deep wavy bands decorated with narrow braid and each band is filled with down feathers. As well as being a lightweight but incredibly warm garment these down petticoats also had the added benefit of supporting voluminous skirts before the invention of the crinoline in 1856. After the crinoline had been invented they were still useful for wearing under the crinoline to keep the legs warm.
It is likely this petticoat was manufactured by Booth & Fox who were well-known makers of down petticoats, although it is missing their distinctive label. Alterations made to the waist to lengthen the petticoat by adding in a secondary fabric may have required the label to be removed and there are still stitch marks outlining where the label would have originally been attached. The alterations have also redistributed the fullness of the skirt towards the back, perhaps to better fit under a later style of skirt.
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