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made in Britain

Postcard of Nightgown.
© National Museums Scotland


This man's blue wool damask nightgown dates from around 1740. It was made in Britain and would have been worn indoors, on informal occasions, over a shirt and breeches.

The gown is woven with a large foliage design. It is lined with a slightly darker shade of blue twilled wool. The cut is based on the kimono and replaced the earlier style which was rather like a modern university gown. The stripes on the front of the nightgown are calender marks - a calender machine used rollers to smooth out cloth.

Eighteenth-century life was divided more rigidly than today into formal and informal occasions. Clothes had to suit these occasions. Men's formal coats were of expensive cloth, tight-fitting and restrictive. At home they wore warm, comfortable dressing gowns known as nightgowns. They were made of wool or silk and were the equivalent of today's tracksuit.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-142-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  A.1975.415
Date: Around 1740
Late 19th - early 20th centu
Material: White silk satin, red machine-made cotton lace, and white bone
Dimensions: 425 mm L (of guards)
What: Fan
ICOM Number: 8
Subject: European Costume : accessories : fans
Where: Britain
Description: Fan of white silk satin and red machine-made cotton lace, with sticks and guards of white bone: British, late 19th - early 20th century
  • Tarrant, Naomi. The Development of Costume. London & New York. NMS & Routledge, 1994, p 64. 
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