Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mrs. Hume

The following advertisement appeared in the Hobart Courier on November 1, 1854, and reveals the extent to which Vandiemonian retailers quite effectively kept up with fashions at home in England:

SPRING AND SUMMER GOODS, / Ex “DERWENT.” / MRS. HUME / RESPECTFULLY intimates that she has just OPENED, expressly to order, an Extensive Assortment of Goods suitable for the season, consisting of—Bayadere Robes / Fancy Check Lustres / Brocaded and Striped Poplins in great variety / A Few Fashionable Barege and Printed Cambric London-made Dresses / Black and White Lace Jackets / Black Crape and other Mourning Mantles / French Cambric Embroidered and Lace-trimmed Handkerchiefs of a very superior description / Ladies and Gentlemen’s French Kid Gloves; Thread Lace Edgings, &c. &c. &c. / ALSO, A Choice Assortment of BABY LINEN and LADIES’ UNDER CLOTHING, to which Mrs. Hume would particularly invite attention. / Liverpool-street, 28th October, 1854.

Bayadere fabric is striped, indeed this term came to stand for the stripes themselves. Lustre was a thin, light material with a cotton warp (previously also either silk or linen) and a woolen weft, producing a highly lustrous surface. Originally made of silk and worsted, poplins were plain-woven, with a fine horizontal rib, produced by using a finer warp thread than the weft. Barege was a light, silky fabric, resembling gauze, originally made at Baréges. Cambric was a kind of fine white linen, originally made at Cambray in Flanders, though the name was occasionally also applied to an imitation made of hard-spun cotton. Crape was a thin transparent gauze-like plain woven fabric, without any twill, consisting of highly twisted raw silk, mechanically embossed with a minutely wrinkled surface. At this date the best kid gloves were still thought to be the product of Spanish skins, fine French cutting, and English sewing.

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