18th Century Embroidered Petticoats

This page collects a variety of embroidered petticoats. Note that some petticoats can be found with outfits as matching ensembles with the pleated-back gowns, fitted-back gowns, and even some jackets.

There is a section of embroidered petticoat-borders at the bottom of this page.

Also see the quilted petticoats.

  • Augusta 5.3971.9.442, crewel embroidered petticoat; “White cotton woven stripe ground, double meandering row of multi-colored flowers near hem”
  • Meg Andrews 7561, a quilted and crewel embroidered petticoat, early 18th century; “the top half of cream twill weave wool and linen/cotton (fustian) mix, all quilted, the lower width of coarser wool embroidered in wools with upright flowers including tulips, gilly and pinks, the border with a flower and leaf meander, all in clear shades of crimson, pink, yellow, lime and dark green, mid and dark blue wools, the embroidered section is shell quilted, edged with cream linen braid”
  • Woman’s embroidered petticoat, silk and linen, England, c. 1700-1725
  • KCI AC3657 81-1-4 (and detail), England, c. 1720; “petticoat of green silk taffeta appliquéd with embroidered chinoiserie flowers, birds and insects”
  • Crewel embroidered petticoat, wool on cotton/linen, 1721
  • V&A T.179&A-1959, an embroidered petticoat for a mantua, Britain, c. 1740-1745
  • Manchester 2008.22, England, 1740-1760; “Petticoat in white linen, quilted in bands of inverted Vs to within 10cms of waistband and to 36cms from hem; lower part (36cm in width) diamond pane quilted with 5 bands of applied trailing floral embroidery in red and green with a scalloped green edge; waist edged in white linen with ties and side pocket openings; pockets and hem edged with green calamanco; fully lined (apart from one panel) in vertically striped blue and white fustian (with piecing). Embroidered bands applied before construction (ready made petticoat) as they run behind seams.”
  • National Trust 814614.8, a linen and cotton petticoat with a band at the bottom that features crewel embroidery, c. 1740-1760
  • CW 1956-578, petticoat with crewel wool embroidery on dimity, New England, c. 1745-1760; “natural linen/cotton fabric in dimity weave; band of plain fabric added at waist to lengthen skirt. Gathered to plain cotton waistband (replaced). The bottom edge of skirt is decorated with carnations and other flowers, buds, and leaves on deeply undulating stems worked in pink, purple, light-blue, light and dark greens, gold, and yellow crewels in satin, chain, and outline stitches. Embroidered band is approximately 9" deep. Hem is faced with tabby cotton band approximately 2" wide. Petticoat has one opening to be worn on side or back. Fabric cut with warp running around, not up and down.”
  • Met 42.188.2, linen embroidered with crewel wool, New England, c. 1750
  • MFA 38.79, linen with wool embroidery, Vermont, mid-18th century (See the petticoat borders for more examples of this style.)
  • MFA 50.3175, linen and cotton ground with wool embroidery, New England, mid-18th century; “Petticoat; white linen and cotton ground woven with vertical ribbing (plied linen warps regularly form ribs); bottom edge bound with green wool tape; border design of vine bearing grapes, thistles, berries, and a variety of flowers, embroidered in polychrome crewels.” (See the petticoat borders for more examples of this style.)
  • Embroidered blue silk petticoat, mid-18th century
  • A child’s petticoat, c. 1750-1775, in Fitting & Proper: “cream-colored wool embroidered in multicolored flowers at the hem, hem bound with pink wool tape”
  • MRAH (IRPA 20049393), a green silk petticoat with floral embroidery
  • ACI 1987.c.47.a-b, open robe and petticoat, figured silk with silk floss embroidery, c. 1760s
  • Met 37.126.1, a silk dress panel embroidered in silk, France, 1774-1793
  • KCI AC1925 79-1-77 (and detail), c. 1780; “petticoat of silk faille with floral chinoiserie embroidery”
  • Met 1978.63.2, France, c. 1780
  • LACMA M.90.149.2, attributed to Philippe de Lasalle, France, c. 1780; “metal thread and spangles embroidered on silk taffeta”
  • Designs from London, probably for embroidery on petticoats, c. 1782-1794; V&A E.257-1973, V&A E.246-1973, V&A E.261-1973, V&A E.269-1973
  • Vintage Textile 1690, a French crewel embroidered linen skirt, c. 1790; “hand embroidered by nuns in a French convent. The point de chainette pattern is rendered in colorful wool yarns on a natural beige linen ground. The chain stitch was done with a needle, not with a tambour hook, as evidenced by the separate stitches on the back side. The stitches are tiny and uniform. The seams and hem are hand stitched … This dress was brought from France in 1790—made by nuns—It belonged to Madeleine Françoise Charlotte Maret.”
  • KCI AC4162 81-28-2, France, c. 1790; “petticoat of linon with polychrome floral silk embroidery”
  • Marzilli Vintage F-541, muslin petticoat with drawnwork, c. 1790

Embroidered petticoat borders

  • AAAWT 912-53, 18th cetury crewel-embroidered petticoat border
  • Petticoat border, Boston area, 1725-1750
  • HD 2000.70, an embroidery pattern for a crewel embroidered petticoat border done in black ink on paper, which was found glued to a beam in the attic of the Robert Crossman House in Taunton, Massachusetts, dating to 1730-1750
  • Petticoat border wool on linen, Boston, c. 1740-1760
  • Petticoat border, wool on linen, Boston, c. 1740-1760
  • MFA 50.3123, linen with wool embroidery and worsted wool tape, New England, mid-18th century; “Design of serpentine stem bearing variety of blossoms, bud and leaves worked with polychrome wools, green and pinks predominating in oriental, satin, stem, knot, dot and button hole stitches; bottom edge bound with green wool tape”
  • MFA 32.64, America, mid-18th century; “Linen embroidered with wool in floral motifs with a seated female figure in 18th-century dress with lamb on lap in center; mostly Roumanian couching stitch used for solid areas; stem stitch used for stems, vines and outlines; possibly back stitch used for stippling on bird and center of large blue flower on right; bullion stitch or French knots used for fleece of lamb; possibly fern stitch used for leaves of thin trees”
  • MFA 25.186a-b, set of fragments of a petticoat border in two parts, linen embroidered with wool; “Large section of a petticoat border of plain weave linen embroidered with polychrome wool (crewelwork); Roumanian couching stitch used for most of solid areas in leaves, fruit, and trunks of trees and the yellow, green, and blue ground area, as well as butterflies, birds, parrot in tree, squirrels, stag, dogs, rabbits, and house; stem stitch used for thinner branches and outlines; satin, flat, and running stitches may also have been used.”
  • MFA 40.571, linen with wool embroidery, New England, 1758; “Ground: deep cream colored linen. Design: large stylized flowers and leaves growing from undulating stems worked in Oriental or Roumanian and outline stitch with pink, red, pinkish violet, blue, green and yellow wool (crewel).”
  • MFA 62.178, linen with wool embroidery, Ipswitch, Massachusetts, 1758; “Plain linen ground, embroidered with polychrome crewels in Romanian, stem, knotted, darning stitches and speckling. Continuous yellow-brown ground row from which rise trees and plants. Cows, rooster, birds in air, trees, ground. Crewels bright and fresh. Linen cut top, bottom, right; edges frayed. Complete: pattern continuous when two ends joined.”