18th Century Fashion & Accessories



18th Century Fashion & Accessories

18th Century Purse
Frequently, the pocket book was crafted in silk and magnificently embroidered with silk or silk ribbon and metal threads. At times, more ornate techniques using sequins, gold foil, false pearls, silver-gilt fringes, and tassels were implemented by a more skillful embroiderer.

18th Century Clothing at Williamsburg
Dresses patterned after 18th-century portraits of women and descriptions of textiles found in colonial newspaper advertisements, early inventories and letters ordering dress materials, such as the custom when Thomas Jefferson danced with his fair ‘Belinda’ in the Raleigh Tavern’s Apollo ballroom.

The History of the Fan
From the sixteenth century up to the late 1800s throughout the whole of Europe, the dress of no fashionable lady en grande tenue appears to have been complete without the addition of a fan.

The Art of the Fan
An 18th century article about the art of using fans by Joseph Addison, author of Passions of the Fan and the Academy for the Instruction in the Use of the Fan from 1711.

A Chapter on Shawls
History of the shawl. The cashmere shawl is of a very soft fabric made from the wool of the Cashmere goat, of the highest quality made from Kashmir, India. We scarcely know a truer test of a gentlewoman’s taste in dress than her selection of a Cashmere shawl, and her manner of wearing it. 

Beyond the Fringe- Shawls of Paisley Design
Difinitive article on the Paisley shawl. Paisley shawls were in fashion from 1790-1870. During this time millions were woven, embroidered and printed in Kashmir, Persia, India, Russia, USA and Europe, in France at Paris and Lyon, Austria in Vienna, in England at Norwich and in Scotland at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Paisley itself. It was the woven Kashmir shawls which first caught women's imagination, with European manufacturers quick to emulate by weaving or printing.

Antique Fashion Prints
The history of antique fashion prints showing clothing from the 18th century and Victorian clothing from the 19th century. The widespread publication of fashion plates began in England and France in the late eighteenth century. The English periodical, The Lady's Magazine, issued its first uncolored plate in 1770 and a year later its first color hand-tinted plate.

Kashmir Shawls
Outstanding shawls dating from the early to mid-19th century. Several passed down from one generation to the next. Some of the shawls were produced in Kashmir, India, and the others came from European manufacturers.

Abigail Adams and Women's Rights 
Fictional letter by Abigail Adams explaining to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 why women's rights should be included in the new Constitution. 

18th Century Holiday Traditions
Residents of 18th Century Williamsburg Observed Feast of the Nativity as a Holy Day.