Pockets of History

Fashion Museum, Bath and North East Somerset Council

How intriguing. The University of Southampton’s Winchester School of  Arts has a new collection of digital photos of  tie-on pockets from the 17th and 18th centuries. In the days before pockets were sewn into women’s clothing, it was necessary to make a separate one to tie around the waist. They were used by women of all social backgrounds, generally worn under a jacket or a skirt with a slit on the side in which to slide one’s hand into the pocket. I’ve made several myself, from plain to decorated with embroidery.  This website contains  photos of paintings, prints, novels and letters, along with records of court proceedings, newspaper stories, advertisements, bills and inventories. It also provides information about materials, decoration, how pockets were acquired, and how they were used.  A valuable resource for historians and re-enactors. It even has examples of knitted pockets!

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2 thoughts on “Pockets of History

  1. Annette says:

    How fascinating! I didn’t know there were such things as external pockets. I will have to look up the website you mentioned to read more. I love learning new historical facts. Thank you so much for telling us about it.

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