In the 19th century knitting and crochet were used for small items like caps and stockings, and for decorative edgings and insertion for cloth garments. Larger garments such as vests, waistcoats and jackets were also made in both techniques but few survive.
The camisole is beautifully hand sewn with pin tucks and faggotting as well as panels of crochet.
Detail of the camisole showing the hand written marking for identification when laundered.
Many women wore caps indoors until the early twentieth century.
This one may be frame knitted, as it seems to be a straight piece gathered into a small circular crown, which is edged with bobbin lace.
Lacy patterns are produced on a hand frame by moving individual stitches or groups of stitches using a special tool. Although this is laborious the plain rows can be worked faster than by hand knitting.
The Collection includes other women’s caps, both crocheted and knitted, and men’s knitted nightcaps.
A pair of hand knitted cotton stockings with a lace pattern to knee height (30 cm [13″] from the heel) and stocking stitch tops, ending with three rows of eyelets and few rows of K2P2 rib (61 cm [24″] from the heel).
The stockings are knitted in the round, with a seam rib (one purl stitch on alternate rounds) in the middle of the neat leg shaping. The feet are 25.5 and 26.5 cms (10″ and 10½”) long.