The sign of the unicorn. A fabric shop for 18th century reenactors and historians.

Silk Fabric | Cotton Fabric

Silk Fabric

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100% Silk, 48" wide
Black Silk Duchess Satin
$45.99/yd.

Black silk duchess satin was commonly used to make city women's cloaks, silk bonnets and for covering chip hats throughout the 18th century. Black silk duchess was often used for women's gloves, mitts, gowns, and jackets. Men wore satin as jackets, coats and waistcoats. Cited from personal communication with Mike Barbieri in the 1775 Boston Post-Boy, "Lost, at Concert-Hall, last Friday Evening, the 27th Inst. a black Alamode Cloak, almost new, with a broad black Lace, and no lining. It is supposed to have been taken through Mistake, for a black Sattin Cloak which was left in its Room." For hand sewing try black medium weight silk.

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100% Silk, 48" wide
White Silk Duchess Satin
$45.99/yd.

This creamy white silk duchess satin was commonly used to make city women's cloaks, silk bonnets and for covering chip hats throughout the 18th century. White silk duchess was often used for women's gloves, mitts, gowns, and jackets. Men wore satin as jackets, coats and waistcoats. Cited in a newspaper ad in the 1775 Providence Gazette, "Stolen out of the Shop . . .  the following Articles, viz . . .  3 Dozen of black and white Silk Gloves, 4 Dozen of black and white Silk Mitts". For hand sewing try white medium weight silk.

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100% Silk, 55" wide
Stripe Silk WSV 128
$22/yd.

Striped silk of this weight is great for gentlemen’s waistcoats and coats as well as lady's petticoats, gowns and jackets. Silk garments were in the possession of the poor as well as the wealthy such as in this Virginia Gazette ad of 1773, "RUN away . . .  a Convict Servant . . .  an Englishman; by Trade a Bricklayer . . .  with sundry other Clothes which he stole, namely . . .  a striped Silk Waistcoat." Tan silk thread will work well for hand sewing this silk.

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Pure silk taffeta for 17th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

Green and Orange Stripe Satin, 100% Silk, 54" wide, $20/yd.
WSV 141

Silk has the benefit of taking and holding a wide range of colors. Imagine this silk as a gentlemen’s waistcoat or coat. Think of the statement a lady would make as she enters the room with the sound and drape of this silk as a gown, or jacket with a matching petticoat. Silk garments were often pawned such as in this theft trial in The Proceedings of the Old Bailey recorded in London in 1765 "she described them very particularly, and told where they were pawned: [among the garments listed were] . . .  a striped silk gown". Yellow orange medium weight silk thread will work well for hand sewing this silk. For sewing button holes several colors of silk quilter's thread could be used.

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100% Silk, 54" wide
Green and Yellow Stripe Satin WSV 139
$20/yd.

Silk fabric with a simple alternating pattern could make a strong statement as a gentlemen’s waistcoat and coat as well as a lady's petticoat, gown or jacket. Silk garments were in the possession of the poor as well as the wealthy such as in this Pennsylvania Gazette ad of 1781, "Ran Away . . .  a Negroe Woman . . .  She had a variety of clothes, among which are . . .  a striped silk jacket" as cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls. Ivory silk thread will work well for hand sewing this silk.

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Pure silk taffeta for 17th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

Gold Changeable Lutestring, 100% Silk, 45" wide, $22/yd.
WSV 126

newGorgeous with a limited supply!

Lutestring is one of the types of taffeta available during the 17th and 18th centuries. Lutestring was often changeable as is this plain weave changeable silk. Although the end threads reveal this to be a vibrant bright gold that changes to soft bluish gray the overall look is of a bright greenish gold that changes to soft bluish grey. Throughout the 18th century taffeta was used for women's gowns, jackets, and petticoats. Men wore taffeta as banyans, jackets, coats and waistcoats. In The Pennsylvania Evening Post, of 1776, "Ran away . . .  an Irish servant girl . . .  She also took with her a changeable mantua gown" is cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls. Although more gold than yellow, hand sewing with yellow quilter's silk will blend with this fabric.

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100% Silk, 56" wide
Silver Silk WSV 164
$20/yd.

newLimited supply!

Silk twill of a soft silver color would make a gorgeous jacket or petticoat. Just as striking would be a gentlemen’s coat, jacket or waistcoat. Silk was often described in sale ads in America and Europe and was often taken by thieves. In this trial record from The Proceedings of the Old Bailey in London, 1724 a man defrauded another out of "a rich Silver Silk Suit of [woman's] Clothes". He "was recommended to the Prisoner, as being a Person that dealt in Tea and Snuff, and who had Acquaintance among rich Jewish Families, and so was a proper Person to help her to a Chapman for the Clothes. That thereupon she left a Breadth of the Petticoat at the House . . .  as a Pattern to show what it was". Grey silk quilter's thread is a bit darker for sewing button holes.

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Pure silk taffeta for 17th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

Gold Stripe Taffeta, 100% Silk, 54" wide, $25/yd.
WSV 144

newStunning with a limited supply!

Even stripes of one inch gold and one inch gold with tiny ribs mark this as an unforgettable jacket or petticoat. Just as striking would be a gentlemen’s waistcoat or jacket. Silk garments often are included in theft trials in London such as in The Proceedings of the Old Bailey recorded in London in 1783 "was indicted for feloniously stealing . . .  one striped silk waistcoat, value 2 s. 6 d." Buff colored or yellow quilter's thread would work well for sewing button holes.

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100% Silk, 47" wide
Pink Taffety WSV 163
$20/yd.

newLimited supply!

Silk taffeta of a true gorgeous pink color would make a gorgeous jacket or petticoat. Just as striking would be a gentlemen’s coat, jacket or waistcoat. Taffety was often described in sale ads in America and Europe and was often taken by thieves such as in this record from The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London where in 1774 a man "was indicted for stealing . . .  one pink silk petticoat, value 4 s." Pink silk quilter's thread is a near perfect match for sewing button holes.

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Pure silk taffeta for 17th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

Cross Barred Taffety, 100% Silk, 55" wide, $25/yd.
WSV 161

newStunning with a limited supply!

This cross bar has a 6 3/4" repeat of yellow and green stripes with three claret colored narrow lines surrounded with narrow very light gray lines. This would make an unforgettable gown, jacket or petticoat. Just as striking would be a gentlemen’s waistcoat or banyan. Taffety was often described in sale ads in America and Europe but they sometimes are included in runaway ads as well for example The Pennsylvania Gazette of 1774 "Run away . . .  two Irish servant women, one . . .  had on, and took with them . . .  one old taffaty gown, of a straw colour" cited in the book Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls. Either yellow or light green quilter's thread would work well for sewing button holes.

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100% Silk, 55" wide
Brown Striped Silk WSV 147
$20/yd.

A brown silk fabric with gold satin stripes would be great for gentlemen’s waistcoat and coats as well as lady's petticoats, gowns and jackets. Silk garments were in the possession of the poor as well as the wealthy such as in this The Virginia Gazette ad of 1773, "RUN away . . .  a Convict Servant . . .  an Englishman; by Trade a Bricklayer . . .  with sundry other Clothes which he stole, namely . . .  a striped Silk Waistcoat." Drab silk quilter's thread will work well for hand working button holes.

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100% Silk, 54" wide
Green Striped Silk WSV 153
$20/yd.

A bluish green that changes to a light brown with gold satin stripes would be great for gentlemen’s waistcoat and coats as well as lady's petticoats, gowns and jackets. Silk garments were in the possession of the poor as well as the wealthy such as in this The Virginia Gazette ad of 1773, "RUN away . . .  a Convict Servant . . .  an Englishman; by Trade a Bricklayer . . .  with sundry other Clothes which he stole, namely . . .  a striped Silk Waistcoat." Drab silk quilter's thread will work well for hand working button holes.

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100% Silk, 54" wide
Green Striped Satin WSV 155
$20/yd.

This asymmetrical wide stripe satin is on a changeable green to light brown taffeta that could be used for a gentlemen’s waistcoat and coat or a lady's petticoat, gown or jacket. Silk garments were often stolen as in The Proceedings of the Old Bailey recorded in 1779 of a man and a woman who "were indicted, the first for feloniously stealing . . .  three striped silk gowns, value 28 s." Several colors of silk quilter's thread would be possible for button holes depending on the look you want.

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Pure silk taffeta for 17th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

Claret and Gold Changeable Stripe, 100% Silk, 54" wide, $15/yd.
WSV 156

This simple stripe has a 7 3/4 inch stripe of gold and a 7 3/4 inch stripes of claret alternating. Each claret stripe changes to gold. This wide stripe taffeta could be used for a gentlemen’s waistcoat and coat or a lady's petticoat, gown or jacket. Silk garments were often stolen as in The Proceedings of the Old Bailey recorded in 1685 of a man "was Indicted for Stealing 19 Yards of striped Silk, value 4 l." Claret silk quilter's thread could be used for making buttonholes in this silk.

Add Claret and Gold Changeable Stripe WSV 156 to Cart

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100% Silk, 45" wide
Red Persian WSV 109
$20.00/yd.

Scarlet red silk as fine as this was used for neck handkerchiefs, and linings. Cited in

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100% Silk, 45" wide
Blue Persian
$13.99/yd.

Blue silk as fine as this was used for neck handkerchiefs, and linings such as women's bonnets or chip (straw) hats. . For example in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls there is an ad from The Pennsylvania Chronicle of 1770 that includes "Absconded from her master’s service . . .  an English servant girl . . .  Had on and took away with her . . .  a black sattin bonnet lined with blue persian".

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100% Silk, 45" wide
Brown Persian WSV 108
$20/yd.

Brown silk as fine as this was used for neck handkerchiefs, linings and sometimes lining women's bonnets or chip (straw) hats. . Cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls The Pennsylvania Packet, of 1778, "Ran Away . . .  an indented girl . . .  country born . . .  had on and took with her, a brown silk bonnet".

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100% Silk, 45" wide
Gold Persian WSV 104
$20/yd.

Gold silk fabric as fine as this was used for neck handkerchiefs and as a lining. Persian was used for lining women's bonnets or chip (straw) hats. In The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1767, "Richard Griffiths, and Mary his wife, otherwise Mary Pitt, spinster, otherwise Anne Taylor, spinster, were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Anne Nevell, widow . . .  and stealing . . .  a coloured silk handkerchief, the property of the said Anne Nevell".

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100% Silk, 54" wide
Sheer Cream Stripe Silk Gauze
$14/yd.

How do you describe something that the slightest breeze will carry away? Very fine silk gauze was primarily used for lady's neck handkerchiefs in the 18th and early 19th century. It may also be used for an 18th century lady's apron or a 19th century chemisette. In The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London in 1778, "I am a linen-draper in Red-Lion-street, Holborn; the prisoner, and another who is not taken, came into my shop with a pretence to buy gauze . . .  I showed her some of the common sort; she said that was not the kind she wanted, for she wanted silk gauze. I told her, I did not keep silk gauze, that was milliners and haberdashers goods". For hand sewing try fine white silk thread. The picture is taken on a black background with the penny behind to give you an idea of how sheer this silk is.

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100% Silk, 45" wide
White Persian WSV 102
$20/yd.

This fine white silk was primarily used as a lining and hem facinings on women's gowns. White silk as fine as this can also be used for neck handkerchiefs, and men's cravats (aka neck cloths) and neck stocks. Sometimes Persian was used for lining women's bonnets or chip (straw) hats. In The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London in 1758, "Arthur Hambleton was indicted for stealing . . .  one white silk lining to a gown". For hand sewing try fine white silk thread.

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100% Silk, 45" wide
Black Silk WSV 162
$20.00/yd.

newNew!

This silk is a bit heavier than Persian but lighter weight than a taffeta and definitely lighter than Dutchess. Black silk was commonly used as a lining material but may also be used for neck handkerchiefs, the linings of some gentleman's hats appear in artwork to be lined in black silk, women's bonnets and chip (straw) hats can also be lined in this black silk but it's a bit thin for the outside covering. It may also be used for men's cravats (aka neck cloths) and neck stocks. In The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1775, "CHARLES M'GINNIS and ANN his wife, were indicted for stealing . . .  a piece of black silk lining, value two pence; a piece of black silk, value six-pence". For hand sewing try fine black silk thread.

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100% Silk, 45" wide
Black Persian WSV 100
$20.00/yd.

Fine black silk fabric was commonly used as a lining material but may also be used for neck handkerchiefs, the linings of women's bonnets and chip (straw) hats. It may also be used for men's cravats (aka neck cloths) and neck stocks. In The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1775, "CHARLES M'GINNIS and ANN his wife, were indicted for stealing . . .  a piece of black silk lining, value two pence; a piece of black silk, value six-pence". For hand sewing try fine black silk thread.

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100% Silk, 28 1/2" (72.4 cm) square
Black Handkerchief
$15

Black silk handkerchiefs were some of the most common handkerchiefs worn about the neck of both men and women throughout the 18th century. Black silk was especially worn by sailors but black silk handkerchiefs were often worn along with black silk bonnets and hats by women. Starting about 1800 these began to be called "neckerchief" although the term "handkerchief" persisted to the end of the 19th century. In the 18th century, when called "kerchief" it was preceded by the separate word "hand" making it "hand kerchief". These silk handkerchiefs have a rolled hem all the way around. In one corner is a "Made in India" label that can easily be cut out. From personal communication with Mike Barbieri in the 1775 Connecticut Journal, an ad included "Runaway . . .  two indented Servant Men, one . . .  a weaver by trade . . .  had on a . . .  black silk handkerchief".

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Silk Fabric | Cotton Fabric

Cotton Fabric

100% Cotton, Light Brown Manchester Velvet, 43" wide, WCN 344
$10/yd.

Limited Quantity!

Cotton velvet spread rapidly after about the 1750s (and possibly much earlier) and were known as "Manchester goods". Manchester velvets were used in the 18th century for men's waistcoats, jackets and breeches. Velvets were also used for cuffs, collars and facings on coats and for women's shoes. In the early 19th century velvet was used for women's spencer. For example in the 1775 Connecticut Gazette an ad included, "Broke out of the Goal in New-London . . .  on suspicion of having robbed the Store . . .  Had on . . .  brown velvet breeches" cited in personal communication with Mike Barbieri. Unbleached linen thread is a good match and buff colored quilter's thread is a very good match for sewing button holes.

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100% Cotton, Brown Manchester Velvet, 54" wide, WCN 343
$10/yd.

Limited Quantity!

Cotton velvet spread rapidly after about the 1750s (and possibly much earlier) and were known as "Manchester goods". Manchester velvets were used in the 18th century for men's waistcoats, jackets and breeches. Velvets were also used for cuffs, collars and facings on coats and for women's shoes. In the early 19th century velvet was used for women's spencer. For example in the 1775 Connecticut Gazette an ad included, "Broke out of the Goal in New-London . . .  on suspicion of having robbed the Store . . .  Had on . . .  brown velvet breeches" cited in personal communication with Mike Barbieri. Unbleached linen thread is the best match as is buff colored quilter's thread for sewing button holes.

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100% Cotton, Moss Coloured Manchester Velvet, 46" wide, WCN 335
$10/yd.

Remnent only!

Cotton velvet spread rapidly after the 1750s and were known as "Manchester goods". Manchester velvets were used in the 18th century for men's waistcoats, jackets and breeches. Velvets were also used for cuffs, collars and facings on coats and for women's shoes. In the early 19th century velvet was used for women's outerwear such as spencers but also in trims and accessories. For example in the 1775 New England Chronicle an ad included, "To be Sold . . .  At his Shop . . .  An Assortment of English Goods among which are . . .  Manchester velvets" cited in personal communication with Mike Barbieri. Light green linen thread matches this fabric as well as light green quilter's thread for sewing button holes.

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100% Cotton, Light Purple Manchester Velvet, 59" wide, WCN 300
$10/yd.

Cotton velvet spread rapidly after the 1750s (possibly much earlier) and were known as "Manchester goods". Manchester velvets were used in the 18th century for men's waistcoats, jackets and breeches. Velvets were also used for cuffs, collars and facings on coats and for women's shoes. In the early 19th century velvet was used for women's spencer. For example in the 1775 Pennsylvania Packet an ad included, "Ran away . . .  an indented servant Irish woman . . .  She had on . . .  a pair of leather or purple velvet shoes" cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls. Blue 50/3 linen thread for hand sewing will match this fabric as will blue quilter's thread for sewing button holes.

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100% Cotton, Purple Manchester Velvet, 48" wide, WCN 336
$10/yd.

Cotton velvet spread rapidly after the 1750s (possibly much earlier) and were known as "Manchester goods". Manchester velvets were used in the 18th century for men's waistcoats, jackets and breeches. Velvets were also used for cuffs, collars and facings on coats and for women's shoes. In the early 19th century velvet was used for women's spencer. For example in the 1775 Pennsylvania Packet an ad included, "Ran away . . .  an indented servant Irish woman . . .  She had on . . .  a pair of leather or purple velvet shoes" cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls. No linen thread really matches this fabric in color so unbleached may be best. For hand sewing buttonholes several colors of quilter's thread may prove interesting.

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100% Cotton, White Manchester Velvet, 43" wide, WCN 338
$10/yd.

Limited Quantity!

Cotton velvet spread rapidly after about the 1750s and were known as "Manchester goods". White velvets were used in the 18th century for women's cloaks and possibly for men's waistcoats, jackets and breeches. Velvets were also used for cuffs, collars and facings on coats and for women's shoes. In the early 19th century velvet was used for women's outerwear such as spencers but also in trims and accessories. For example in the 1773 Providence Gazette an ad included, "robbed of the following Articles, viz . . .  a Surtout Coat, of a light drab Colour, with a large Velvet Collar" cited in personal communication with Mike Barbieri. Off white linen thread matches this fabric as will white quilter's thread for sewing button holes.

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100% Cotton, Brown Spotted Manchester Velvet, 56" wide, WCN 337
$10/yd.

Limited Quantity!

This brown velvet has tiny black woven spots giving an overall dark appearance to the fabric. Cotton velvet spread rapidly after about the 1750s and were known as "Manchester goods". Spotted Manchester velvets were used in the 18th century for men's waistcoats, jackets and breeches. In the early 19th century velvet was used for women's outerwear such as spencers but also in trims and accessories. Two examples are provided here both cited in personal communication with Mike Barbieri. First, in the 1776 New England Chronicle, or Essex Gazette an ad included, "just received from New-York and Philadelphia, a fresh supply of English Goods, which are now selling off at his store in Cambridge. Among his assortment are the following articles, viz. . . .  spotted and plain velvets". Another example from the 1775 Connecticut Courant "the following prisoners made their escape, viz. the notorious . . .  Irishman . . .  wore . . .  a pair of spotted Manchester breeches." Black linen thread matches this fabric as will black quilter's thread for sewing button holes.

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100% Cotton, Brown Corduroy, 60" wide, 6 wales/inch, WCN 309
$10/yd.

Corduroy was first advertised in London in 1756 but did not become popular until the late 1780s. From the late 1780s and into the 19th century corduroy was commonly used for working class men’s waistcoats breeches and tousers and children's clothing. For example in The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London in 1788 a man was "was indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering" a list of items were stolen including "a pair of corduroy breeches, value 10 s." Brown linen thread for hand sewing will match this fabric as will dark brown quilter's thread for sewing button holes.

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100% Cotton, Striped Brown Corduroy, 51" wide, 6 wales/inch, WCN 310
$10/yd.

This corduroy has two dark brown pin stripes in an orangey brown ground. Corduroy was first advertised in London in 1756 but did not become popular until the late 1780s. From the late 1780s and into the 19th century corduroy was commonly used for working class men’s waistcoats breeches and trousers and children's clothing. For example in the 1772 New-London Gazette an ad included, "Ran away . . .  an Apprentice Boy . . .  Had on . . .  striped Wale Trowsers" as cited in personal communication with Mike Barbieri. Cinnamon brown linen thread will blend with this fabric as will cinnamon brown buttonhole twist for sewing button holes.

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Sheer sprigged cotton for 19th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

100% Cotton, Claret Sprigged Muslin, 42" wide, $15/yd.
WSV 127

newBack in stock!

Muslin began being imported to Europe in the 17th century and some said they were so fine you could hardly feel them in your hand. Sprigged muslin first appears in quantity toward the end of the American War for Independence and soon was used in making empire style gowns, handkerchiefs and chemisettes. In the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1813, a witness said, "they asked for some sprigged muslin. I shewed them some muslins myself; at the same time I was shewing another customer some handkerchiefs. I left the customer to shew them the muslin, and while I turned round to fell the price of the handkerchief, Jones took the muslin. I missed the muslin in about five minutes after. Q. What was the quantity of that piece of muslin that was missed - A. Five yards. That was sprigged muslin. I asked them six shillings a yard for it. Jones went out of the shop, telling Williams that they were cheap." White linen thread for hand sewing will match this fabric.

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Sheer sprigged cotton for 19th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

100% Cotton, Gold Sprigged Muslin, 42" wide, $15/yd.
WSV 128

newStunning!

Muslin began being imported to Europe in the 17th century and some said they were so fine you could hardly feel them in your hand. Sprigged muslin first appears in quantity toward the end of the American War for Independence and soon was used in making empire style gowns, handkerchiefs and chemisettes. At a shop in London called Walker, a trade card published between 1757 to 1758 included "plain sprig'd and strip'd muslins". Off white linen thread for hand sewing will match this fabric.

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Sheer sprigged cotton for 19th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

100% Cotton, Olive Sprigged Muslin, 42" wide, $15/yd.
WSV 129

newGorgeous!

Muslin began being imported to Europe in the 17th century and some said they were so fine you could hardly feel them in your hand. Sprigged muslin first appears toward the end of the American War for Independence and soon was used in making empire style gowns, handkerchiefs and chemisettes. At a shop in London called Walker, a trade card published between 1757 to 1758 included "plain sprig'd and strip'd muslins". Off white linen thread for hand sewing will match this fabric.

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Sheer sprigged cotton for 19th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

100% Cotton, Claret Flowered Muslin, 42" wide, $15/yd.
WSV 130

newVery pretty!

This white muslin has white vines with light pink flowers. Muslin began being imported to Europe in the 17th century and some said they were so fine you could hardly feel them in your hand. Sprigged muslin first appears in quantity toward the end of the American War for Independence and soon was used in making empire style gowns, handkerchiefs and chemisettes. In the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1813, a witness said, "they asked for some sprigged muslin. I shewed them some muslins myself; at the same time I was shewing another customer some handkerchiefs. I left the customer to shew them the muslin, and while I turned round to fell the price of the handkerchief, Jones took the muslin. I missed the muslin in about five minutes after. Q. What was the quantity of that piece of muslin that was missed - A. Five yards. That was sprigged muslin. I asked them six shillings a yard for it. Jones went out of the shop, telling Williams that they were cheap." Off white linen thread for hand sewing will match this fabric.

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Sheer sprigged cotton for 19th century to the present reenactors, nautical historians and museum interpreters.

100% Cotton, Pink Flowered Muslin, 42" wide, $15/yd.
WSV 131

newA bright white!

This white muslin has white vines with light pink flowers. Muslin began being imported to Europe in the 17th century and some said they were so fine you could hardly feel them in your hand. Sprigged muslin first appears in quantity toward the end of the American War for Independence and soon was used in making empire style gowns, handkerchiefs and chemisettes. In the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1813, a witness said, "they asked for some sprigged muslin. I shewed them some muslins myself; at the same time I was shewing another customer some handkerchiefs. I left the customer to shew them the muslin, and while I turned round to fell the price of the handkerchief, Jones took the muslin. I missed the muslin in about five minutes after. Q. What was the quantity of that piece of muslin that was missed - A. Five yards. That was sprigged muslin. I asked them six shillings a yard for it. Jones went out of the shop, telling Williams that they were cheap." Off white linen thread for hand sewing will match this fabric.

Add Olive Sprigged Muslin WCN 131 to Cart

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100% Cotton, Fine Checked Cotton, 58" wide
WCN 116
$17.99/yd.

Fine check cotton was called muslin and began being imported to Europe in the 17th century and some said they were so fine you could hardly feel them in your hand. Muslin was used to make 18th century aprons and handkerchiefs or empire style gowns and chemisettes. Cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls "Run Away . . .  a Dutch servant woman . . .  had on . . .  [a] check cotton handkerchief . . .  she took with her . . .  one check cotton handkerchief" as is published in The Pennsylvania Gazette of 1773. White 60/2 linen thread or fine white silk thread will work well for hand sewing.

If this fine cotton is not exactly what you'r looking for take a look at our very sheer check linens.

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100% Cotton, White Check Cotton, 45" wide
WCN 114
$19.99/yd.

Check cotton fabric like this will work well for 18th century aprons and handkerchiefs or empire style gowns. In the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1799, two suspects "were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Dearding". In the testimony a witness accused them of taking "a check cotton handkerchief". White fine linen thread for hand sewing will match this fabric.

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100% Cotton, White Striped Cotton Gauze, 45" wide
WCN 125
$10/yd

new Back in stock!

Very sheer cotton gauze was used in the 18th century for lady's aprons and handkerchiefs. Later it was used for the lightweight empire style gowns of the Napolionic period and chemisettes. In the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1788, one woman a "was indicted for stealing . . .  a striped cotton gown, value 10 s." For hand sewing try the very fine white silk thread or white 60/2 fine linen thread.

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100% Cotton, Ivory Striped Cotton Gauze, 45" wide
WCC 107
$10/yd.

Very sheer cotton gauze was used in the 18th century for lady's aprons and handkerchiefs. Later it was used for the lightweight empire style gowns of the Napolionic period. For example in The New York Gazette, of 1775, "Run away . . .  in the city of New York . . .  a servant girl . . .  born in Scotland, and came from there thirteen months ago . . .  had on and took with her . . .  four handkerchiefs, one a red and white speckled cotton, a gauze, a linen, and one a lawn" is cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls. Off white 60/2 linen thread will match this fabric when hand sewing or try very fine white silk thread. The picture is taken on a black background with the penny on top and a slight fold to give you an idea of how sheer this cotton is.

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100% Cotton, Muslin, 45" wide
WCN 132
$10.99/yd.

new Cool, light airy with a wonderful drape!

Muslin with a beautiful drape is called batiste today. In the last half of the 18th century fine linen cambric began to be made of cotton. At the turn of the 18th century gowns made of fine cotton muslin became the rage. In the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1792 two people "were indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering . . .  and burglariously stealing therein . . .  a muslin gown, value 40 s." White fine linen thread or fine white silk thread for hand sewing will match this fabric.

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100% Cotton, Muslin, 56" wide
WCN 126
$11.99/yd.

new A gorgeous drape!

This muslin has a bit of a sheen to it and a beautiful drape. Fine cotton muslin is called batiste today. In the last half of the 18th century fine linen cambric began to be made of cotton. At the turn of the 18th century gowns made of fine cotton muslin became the rage. In the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1805, a deposition includes "Q. Was it a muslin gown? - A. I cannot say; it was a white gown; I have not been able to ascertain whether it was muslin or no.
Q. It was a white gown and a long train? - A. I cannot answer whether it was a long train or a short one.
Q. The lady had it in her hand when she came into the shop and when she went out; I should suppose if a lady's train was not long, she would not hold it up? - A. I cannot say. " White fine linen thread or fine white silk thread for hand sewing will match this fabric.

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100% Cotton, Dotted Swiss, 54" wide
WCC 103
$12.00/yd.

Dotted swiss is a sheer cotton fabric with dots woven into the fabric. It is said to have been first made in 1750 and became more abundant in about the 1790s. Dotted swiss is one of the sheer cottons that work well for empire style gowns. White 60/2 linen thread for hand sewing will match this fabric.

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100% Italian Cotton Book Muslin, White, 45" wide
WCN 111
$16.00/yd.

This fine Italian cotton is perfect for ruffled and pleated caps and fine ruffles on shirts! Today this fabric is called organdy, but historically was a type of muslin often referred to as book muslin. Italian book muslin is a medium grade and one step up from that listed as just book muslin. This fine stiff cotton was used to make shirt and shift ruffles, women's caps, aprons, and handkerchiefs starting in about the 1760s and continuing to the present. Book muslin has a crisp look and holds its shape well. In the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1784, one woman "was indicted for feloniously stealing . . .  one book muslin half handkerchief, value 6 d." For hand sewing use 60/2 linen thread or fine silk thread.

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100% Cotton Book Muslin, White, 61" wide
WCN 110
$8.00/yd.

White cotton book muslin is now called organdy but was historically referred to as book muslin because when folded on a bolt it has the appearance of pages of paper. This fine stiff cotton was used to make shirt and shift ruffles, women's caps, aprons, and handkerchiefs starting in the 1760s and continuing to the present. Book muslin has a crisp look and holds its shape well. In The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1770, a number of villains "were indicted, the first for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of James Wood . . .  and stealing . . .  a pair of book muslin ruffles, value 3 s." For hand sewing 60/2 linen thread will work well.

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100% Cotton Organdy, White, 45" wide
WCV 200
$5.50/yd.

Organdy was a type of muslin often referred to as book muslin in the 18th century. This fine crisp cotton was used to make shirt and shift ruffles, women's caps, aprons, and handkerchiefs starting in the 1760s and continuing to the present. Organdy is stiff and holds its shape well. In The Proceedings of the Old Bailey in London of 1771, "I lost two aprons a book muslin and a stript one".

Silks | Cottons

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