The Victorian era witnessed a dramatic change in fashion and dress.  Key silhouettes of the time included large bell-shaped skirts, low-pointed structured waistlines and sloping shoulders.  It also saw the introduction of new necklines for evening dresses.

Linen was a popular choice of textile for garments and table decor during the Victorian period. Used for undergarments, capes and shawls, one of the pieces from the Museum’s collection demonstrates a typical accessory that would have been worn.

Ladies Linen Collar 1850, ILCLM Collection

 

This mid-nineteenth century lady’s linen collar is decorated with cutwork, a form of embroidery where the linen is cut away and then reinforced at the sides. The cutwork design demonstrates a similarity to the paisley pattern, which was also becoming a very popular fashion for the time. The collar would have been worn typically over a day dress and been easily detachable, giving a wider variety of looks to one garment.

You can view more from our textile collection at our online ‘ Fashion Through the Ages: Irish Linen’ Exhibition Here