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Details

Object type

jacket; bodice

Place Associated

Scotland, Renfrewshire, Johnstone Castle (place of use)

Date

circa 1779-1781

Materials

linen, hand-stitched

Dimensions

hem circumference: 2720 mm; neck to hem: 640 mm; waist: 740 mm

Description

Woman's jacket, caraco plisse or pet-en-lair in white linen cord quilted over whole in a pattern of flowers and foliage inside roundels. Open bodice with square neckline, pleated robings and compere fronts fastening at centre front with four hooks and eyes (probably added at a later date) at top but remainder of length without fastening. Sack back falling from two double box pleats at top with side panels fitted into waist. Elbow-length sleeves with wide pleated into sleeve end and turned back cuff. Lined with a coarser weave linen.

A caraco plisse or pet-en-lair was a type of bodice that was popular in the mid to late-18th century. It was constructed similar to the sack-back gowns or robes à la Française of the period. A ‘Hymn to Fashion’ published in the Gentlemen’s Magazine for August 1751 includes the couplet, ‘Inspir’d by thee, thy skilful engineer Lopp’d half the sack and form’d the pet-en-l’air’.

This example is made from cord-quilted linen whereby two layers of cloth are stitched together with a pattern worked in two parallel lines through which a narrow cord is threaded. During the 1700s this material was a popular choice for summer clothing. It was worn by Mary McDowall, the wife of George Houston of Johnstone Castle.

Credit Line/Donor

Gift of Mrs Anne D Houston, 1932

ID Number

1932.51.o

Location

Kelvingrove Looking at Design

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