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Dress, possibly worn by Isobel Dick of Grange

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Postcard of Dress, possibly worn by Isobel Dick of Grange.
© National Museums Scotland

Dress, possibly worn by Isobel Dick of Grange

This silk sack-backed dress dates from the 1750s. It was possibly worn by Isobel Dick of Grange, who married Andrew Lauder of Fountainhall. Sacks were best dresses, worn for all formal occasions which did not require a mantua.

The dress consists of two parts - a robe and a separate petticoat. The material is mauve shot silk and it is decorated with brocaded flower sprays. To save expensive fabric, the back of the petticoat is of a cheaper material. The dress has its own matching stomacher - a stiff material panel worn over the chest and stomach and pinned to the dress and corsets.

The sack-backed gown originated in France. It was a fairly loose garment with no waist seam or belt. By the 1740s it was made of several shaped pieces of material. The top part was designed to fit over a heavy corset while the skirt acquired a new hooped frame to hold it out. The hoops were made of whalebone or supple wood and changed to fit the silhouette of the skirt. They reached their greatest width in the 1740s.

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Online ID: 000-180-000-140-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  
Date: 1750s
  • Tarrant, Naomi. The Development of Costume. London & New York. NMS & Routledge, 1994, pp 68-70. 
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