18th Century Embroidered Petticoats

Last updated: Jan 5, 2024

This page collects a variety of embroidered petticoats. Note that some petticoats can be found with outfits as matching ensembles with the pleated-back gowns, fitted-back gowns, and even some jackets.

There is a section of embroidered petticoat-borders at the bottom of this page.

Also see the quilted petticoats.

  • Augusta 5.3971.9.442, crewel embroidered petticoat; “White cotton woven stripe ground, double meandering row of multi-colored flowers near hem”
  • Meg Andrews 7561, a quilted and crewel embroidered petticoat, early 18th century; “the top half of cream twill weave wool and linen/cotton (fustian) mix, all quilted, the lower width of coarser wool embroidered in wools with upright flowers including tulips, gilly and pinks, the border with a flower and leaf meander, all in clear shades of crimson, pink, yellow, lime and dark green, mid and dark blue wools, the embroidered section is shell quilted, edged with cream linen braid”
  • Kunstmuseum Den Haag 0256983, cream-colored ribbed cotton petticoat with wide tambour-worked crewel embroidery, c. 1700-1714
  • Kunstmuseum Den Haag 1050155, cream-colored cotton petticoat with floral crewelwork, c. 1700-1715
  • Woman’s embroidered petticoat, silk and linen, England, c. 1700-1725
  • Kunstmuseum Den Haag 1050153, cream linen petticoat with floral crewelwork, dark green binding at hem, c. 1700-1725
  • Kunstmuseum Den Haag 0394073, white linen petticoat with crewel embroidery in a scrolling floral pattern, c. 1700-1725
  • Historic Deerfield F.141, petticoat with crewel embroidery around the hem, American, c. 1700-1750
  • Historic Deerfield F.597, off-white linen false-quilted petticoat with silk embroidery, England, c. 1700-1750
  • KCI AC3657 81-1-4 (and detail), England, c. 1720; “petticoat of green silk taffeta appliquéd with embroidered chinoiserie flowers, birds and insects”
  • V&A T.179&A-1959, an embroidered petticoat for a mantua, Britain, c. 1740-1745
  • Manchester 2008.22, England, 1740-1760; “Petticoat in white linen, quilted in bands of inverted Vs to within 10cms of waistband and to 36cms from hem; lower part (36cm in width) diamond pane quilted with 5 bands of applied trailing floral embroidery in red and green with a scalloped green edge; waist edged in white linen with ties and side pocket openings; pockets and hem edged with green calamanco; fully lined (apart from one panel) in vertically striped blue and white fustian (with piecing). Embroidered bands applied before construction (ready made petticoat) as they run behind seams.”
  • National Trust 814614.8, a linen and cotton petticoat with a band at the bottom that features crewel embroidery, c. 1740-1760
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1956-578, petticoat with crewel wool embroidery on dimity, New England, c. 1745-1760; “natural linen/cotton fabric in dimity weave; band of plain fabric added at waist to lengthen skirt. Gathered to plain cotton waistband (replaced). The bottom edge of skirt is decorated with carnations and other flowers, buds, and leaves on deeply undulating stems worked in pink, purple, light-blue, light and dark greens, gold, and yellow crewels in satin, chain, and outline stitches. Embroidered band is approximately 9" deep. Hem is faced with tabby cotton band approximately 2" wide. Petticoat has one opening to be worn on side or back. Fabric cut with warp running around, not up and down.”
  • Met 42.188.2, linen embroidered with crewel wool, New England, c. 1750
  • MFA 38.79, linen with wool embroidery, Vermont, mid-18th century (See the petticoat borders for more examples of this style.)
  • MFA 50.3175, linen and cotton ground with wool embroidery, New England, mid-18th century; “Petticoat; white linen and cotton ground woven with vertical ribbing (plied linen warps regularly form ribs); bottom edge bound with green wool tape; border design of vine bearing grapes, thistles, berries, and a variety of flowers, embroidered in polychrome crewels.” (See the petticoat borders for more examples of this style.)
  • Colonial Williamsburg 2014-176, an under-petticoat with a band of crewel embroidery around the hem, America (possibly New England), c. 1750-1770
  • A child’s petticoat, c. 1750-1775, in Fitting & Proper: “cream-colored wool embroidered in multicolored flowers at the hem, hem bound with pink wool tape”
  • Centraal Museum 5301, pale blue moire silk with embroidered flowers, c. 1750-1775
  • Centraal Museum 12533, white cotton with crewel embroidery, c. 1750-1775
  • Centraal Museum 5002, white twill with crewel embroidery. c. 1750-1775
  • MRAH (IRPA 20049393), a green silk petticoat with floral embroidery
  • Centraal Museum 19759, embroidered petticoat with all-over floral pattern, 1760
  • LACMA M.63.55.3, Portugal, c. 1760; “Silk plain weave with silk supplementary-warp patterning, silk and metallic-thread embroidery, metallic sequins and metallic-thread lace”
  • ACI 1987.c.47.a-b, open robe and petticoat, figured silk with silk floss embroidery, c. 1760s
  • Met 37.126.1, a silk dress panel embroidered in silk, France, 1774-1793
  • KCI AC1925 79-1-77 (and detail), c. 1780; “petticoat of silk faille with floral chinoiserie embroidery”
  • Met 1978.63.2, France, c. 1780
  • LACMA M.90.149.2, attributed to Philippe de Lasalle, France, c. 1780; “metal thread and spangles embroidered on silk taffeta”
  • Designs from London, probably for embroidery on petticoats, c. 1782-1794: V&A E.257-1973, V&A E.246-1973, V&A E.261-1973, V&A E.269-1973
  • Vintage Textile 1690, a French crewel embroidered linen skirt, c. 1790; “hand embroidered by nuns in a French convent. The point de chainette pattern is rendered in colorful wool yarns on a natural beige linen ground. The chain stitch was done with a needle, not with a tambour hook, as evidenced by the separate stitches on the back side. The stitches are tiny and uniform. The seams and hem are hand stitched … This dress was brought from France in 1790—made by nuns—It belonged to Madeleine Françoise Charlotte Maret.”
  • KCI AC4162 81-28-2, France, c. 1790; “petticoat of linon with polychrome floral silk embroidery”
  • Marzilli Vintage F-541, muslin petticoat with drawnwork, c. 1790

Embroidered petticoat borders

  • Historic Deerfield 57.025, framed crewel embroidery made up of three sections of an embroidered petticoat or band
  • AAAWT 912-53, 18th century crewel-embroidered petticoat border
  • Historic Deerfield 86.088, petticoat hem in crewel embroidery, with a cherry-tree motif in the center and repeating motifs, c. 1720-1770
  • Petticoat border, Boston area, 1725-1750
  • HD 2000.70, an embroidery pattern for a crewel embroidered petticoat border done in black ink on paper, which was found glued to a beam in the attic of the Robert Crossman House in Taunton, Massachusetts, dating to 1730-1750
  • Petticoat border wool on linen, Boston, c. 1740-1760
  • Petticoat border, wool on linen, Boston, c. 1740-1760
  • Monmouth County Historical Association 2016.512, a crewel embroidered petticoat border, 1740-1770; “A narrow petticoat border of closely woven, fine quality bleached linen, embroidered with a continuous border. The linen strip is pieced in five sections, measuring 28 1/4 inches, 31 3/8 inches, 31 3/8 inches, 31 inches, and 9 1/2 inches in length. The edges of each piece are butted and whip stitched together, with the left and right ends double folded and hemmed with whip stitching. The top and bottom edges of the strip are finished with simple quarter-inch turned hems, sewn with a simple running stitch in coarse linen thread. The embroidery design was drawn onto the linen, and portions of the sepia-toned inked lines are visible in numerous areas where the wool thread has worn away. Twenty-three colors are used within the embroidery, including scarlet, mulberry, rose, blush pink, light pink, dark green, grass green, apple green, lime green, bright yellow, golden yellow, royal blue, sky blue, ice blue, dark purple, lavender, pale lilac, dark brown, russet, golden brown, black, and oyster white. Stitch work is done in satin, stem, and French knot. Many of the larger floral and foliate elements are worked in ombre shading, from dark to light, while the smaller motifs such as the berry clusters, are worked in single colors. Most of the floral designs are stylized, but some can be identified as roses, carnations, and tulips. Amidst the foliage appear, from left to right, a brown and white cat, an exotic blue bird with pink crest and brightly colored tailfeathers, a stag, and an American goldfinch. The entire pattern repeats once, with the deer and finch replacing the cat and blue bird in the second sequence.”
  • MFA 50.3123, linen with wool embroidery and worsted wool tape, New England, mid-18th century; “Design of serpentine stem bearing variety of blossoms, bud and leaves worked with polychrome wools, green and pinks predominating in oriental, satin, stem, knot, dot and button hole stitches; bottom edge bound with green wool tape”
  • MFA 32.64, America, mid-18th century; “Linen embroidered with wool in floral motifs with a seated female figure in 18th-century dress with lamb on lap in center; mostly Roumanian couching stitch used for solid areas; stem stitch used for stems, vines and outlines; possibly back stitch used for stippling on bird and center of large blue flower on right; bullion stitch or French knots used for fleece of lamb; possibly fern stitch used for leaves of thin trees”
  • MFA 25.186a-b, set of fragments of a petticoat border in two parts, linen embroidered with wool; “Large section of a petticoat border of plain weave linen embroidered with polychrome wool (crewelwork); Roumanian couching stitch used for most of solid areas in leaves, fruit, and trunks of trees and the yellow, green, and blue ground area, as well as butterflies, birds, parrot in tree, squirrels, stag, dogs, rabbits, and house; stem stitch used for thinner branches and outlines; satin, flat, and running stitches may also have been used.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1979-1, a band of linen/cotton with ink drawings for crewel embroidery (thought to be for a petticoat border), drawn by Max Rieg of North Carolina c. 1750-1775
  • MFA 40.571, linen with wool embroidery, New England, 1758; “Ground: deep cream colored linen. Design: large stylized flowers and leaves growing from undulating stems worked in Oriental or Roumanian and outline stitch with pink, red, pinkish violet, blue, green and yellow wool (crewel).”
  • MFA 62.178, linen with wool embroidery, Ipswitch, Massachusetts, 1758; “Plain linen ground, embroidered with polychrome crewels in Romanian, stem, knotted, darning stitches and speckling. Continuous yellow-brown ground row from which rise trees and plants. Cows, rooster, birds in air, trees, ground. Crewels bright and fresh. Linen cut top, bottom, right; edges frayed. Complete: pattern continuous when two ends joined.”