1889’s Fall Fashions

The Fall Trends of October 1889, according to Godey’s Lady Book, the leading women’s fashion magazine of the Victorian era.

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Fig. 1. Ulster of dark blue cloth, belted into the waist. Felt-trimmed shoulder cape with silk, velvet and feather aigrette.

Fig. 2. Walking costume for lady, made of cloth. The front part of the skirt, full vest front, and lower part of sleeves are plaid, which comes with the costume. Straight skirt, with revers turned back. Hat of velvet, trimmed with feather, and small birds inside the brim.

Charming Chintz

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The term “chintz” has come to imply a broad range of products bearing a vintage floral pattern—most commonly associated with porcelain china and polished upholstery fabric. Favorite patterns were comprised of delicate rose motif with meandering sprig stems connected by tiny hand-painted “spots”. The earliest records indicate that French cotton printers arrived in London in the mid-1600’s. They were known as “Calico Printers,” having mastered the craft of rendering colored patterns in layers upon silk and cotton. The process consisted of stretching a length of cloth upon which an engraved wooden block is stamped at even intervals in a variety of colored inks. With one hand the stamp block is precisely positioned while the other hand strikes the block to entrench the colour deeply within the fibers.