1864 - 1865 Dress

Date: ca. 1864-1865 - Material: Figured silk taffeta - Accession: 2001.191.1.030

Dresses between 1840 and 1865 changed little in form and more in detail. This dress’s silk fabric has figured horizontal ribbing woven into the black stripes. Although, it has the fashionably dropped armscyes (arm holes), it has more generous proportions in the bodice and at the waist including fullness at the elbows. The bell shaped skirt would have been supported by caged crinoline. The dress has a significant amount of machine sewing which came into more widespread home use during the Civil War. The hem has a protective “brushing braid” binding designed to be “brushed” clean at the end of a day.

Donated to the University of Illinois Bevier Historic Costume Collection by Miss Harriet Barto. Property transfer to the Illinois State Museum 2001.