C ostume Close-up unveils the secrets of 18th century garments in the collection of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Here, you will find: in-depth examinations of the history and construction of 25 antique garments or ensembles, discussions of 30 related side topics, patterns for 28 individual pieces of clothing, 61 modern drawings or graphs illustrating 18th century stitches, construction techniques, assembly details, and embroidery, quilting, or knitting patterns techniques, 94 black and white photographs, including construction and embroidery details; 27 color photographs including overall views and close-ups, and 31 illustrations from 18th century sources.
Examining stitch marks, thread remnants, and creases, the authors solve the mysteries of how clothing was made, altered, and sometimes even how it was laundered and stored. In the course of their investigation, they illuminate aspects of the manufacture and wearing of 18th century clothing from how wool was glazed (the textiles were folded and placed in a press) to who wore under drawers (Thomas Jefferson and George Washington did, but many men did not).
Experts and novices alike will enjoy the engaging presentation of text, period illustrations, and modern photography.
Colonial Williamsburg owns one of the world’s outstanding collections of period costumes: almost 900 costumes and more than 2,400 accessories. This important body of material documents the way Americans and Europeans dressed during the 18th and early 19th centuries. This was truly a period when clothes had great symbolic importance, proclaiming the wearer’s status, occupations and place in life and society.