1855-65, Brown Wool Dress


Brown wool challis with floral spray print in pink, red, green, white gold and tan.

Bodice with round piped jewel neckline and center front button opening to piped waistline seam with nine 3/4" floral motif metal buttons and hand worked buttonhole closures. Hook and eye at front waistline just left of center. Garment hand sewn.

Two inch wide silk ruching in solid contrasting color (bronze like tan) extending from waistline up center front veering out over shoulder and continuing around upper back encircling neckline of garment. Front bodice has four strips of boning (two each side) in darts from waistline seam extending up into garment six inches, and one bone right center front next to buttons. Bodice fronts extend to side back.

Garment back has two seams emanating 1/4" from center back at piped waistline seam, curving and ending at mid-section of back sleeve seam; seams top-stitched. Bodice underlined with heavy dark gold colored cotton twill fabric.

Drop shoulder, long, full barrel sleeves with matching silk ruching at the shoulder and lower hem edge, with ruching encircling arm. Sleeve underlined with polished cotton, wrist facing silk fabric same as decorative ruching. Armscye seam piped similar to neckline and waistline seams.

Very full floor length skirt, six panels, with cartridge pleats around entire waist. Two hooks to secure center front placket opening in skirt--one on bodice waist; one corresponding loop on bodice, the other on inside of skirt "waistband" extension. Skirt completely underlined with dark gold colored polished cotton. Hem finished with 1/2" braid.






Additional fiber images and information available at the CAMEO Materials Database at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.


This dress was purchased by the museum.

Design Elements

Barrel Sleeve, Hourglass Silhouette

Fiber/Fabric Information

Dress fabric is a cotton and wool blend. Cotton is present in the warp direction while wool is present in the weft direction.




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Cotton Fiber
Wool Fiber
Wool Fiber



“1855-65, Brown Wool Dress,” Fashion2Fiber, accessed December 1, 2020,

Item Relations

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