18th Century Women’s Sleeve Ruffles and Engageantes

Last updated: Jan 5, 2024

Sleeve-ruffles that were basted to the end of a gown’s sleeve; sometimes lace, sometimes embroidered in whitework. See also Engageantes in art at Wikimedia Commons.

Alençon lace (point d’Alençon)

  • Kerry Taylor 6/26/06, Lot 29, “A fine pair of Alençon needlepoint engageants, French, circa 1760, designed with a vase of Crown Imperial lilies and carnations, the surround with scrolling flowers and leaves, butterflies, other insects and blossom, with a variety of oeil de perdrix fillings and a matching fichu, with alterations”
  • LACMA M.81.143.1a-d, a pair of engageantes, France, c. 1770
  • LACMA M.81.143.2a-f, a pair of engageantes, France, c. 1770
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1953-163,1, woman's lace sleeve ruffle in a swag and floral design typical of Alencon lace

Argentan lace (point d’Argentan)

Brussels lace (point d’Bruxelles)

Malines lace & Mechelin lace

  • MRAH (IRPA 20051114), Mechelen
  • V&A T.54&A-1949, a pair of sleeve ruffles, Malines, c. 1750; “Pair of sleeve ruffles in Mechlin bobbin lace. Deep in centre, tapering towards narrower ends. Very fine work, with pattern in point repeat from central axis at the ruffles' deepest point. Design of flowers in cartouches and feathery leaves. Later heading loosely tacked on … This pair is typical of the mid-century, with a symmetrical design starting from a wide centre, tapering towards the ends. The quality of the lace is indicated by the variation in individual flower motifs, and the number of different filling stitches used.”

Other lace

Embroidered engageantes, including Dresden work

  • Augusta 8.4838.424.175, “Pair sleeve ruffles of white semi-sheer cotton, ungathered, white linen embroidery in floral and scroll pattern with drawn work open areas, scalloped edges”
  • Augusta 8.4837.423.176, “Pair sleeve ruffles of off white semi-sheer cotton embroidered with linen in openwork drawn thread areas, with flowers and eyelets, ungathered, scalloped edges”
  • Te Papa GH007884, embroidered cotton engageante
  • Met 1998.270.1a, b, linen engageantes
  • Met 1980.72.7a, b, cotton, British, 18th century
  • Met 1972.139.3a, b, British, 18th century
  • Met 34.143.14, cotton, 18th century
  • Met 34.143.15, cotton, 18th century
  • Met 1975.34.6a-e, cotton and linen, Belgium, 18th century
  • Several at MRAH, including IRPA 20048735, IRPA 20048736, IRPA 20048738, IRPA 20048739, and IRPA 20048908
  • Maria Niforos LA-162, Dresden engageantes; “A rare pair of ladies engageantes with a highly decorative design. Delicate flowing vines, flowers, and leaves meander across the fine muslin. There is a tag attached which gives the provenance, they belonged to a 'Mrs Jane Biodulph'.”
  • Meg Andrews 6623, a pair of Dresden ruffles “with four different fillings to the flower and leaf meander worked in chain stitch, the scalloped edge large leaf scallops, all on fine muslin”
  • A pair sleeve ruffles of off-white semi-sheer cotton, embroidered with linen in openwork drawn thread areas with designs of flowers and eyelets, ungathered, and having scalloped edges; probably the same as this pair
  • Met 1998.270.3a, b, cotton (or linen?) [embroidered] engageantes, early 18th century
  • Manchester 1929.356, sleeve ruffles, Denmark, c. 1730-1770; “White muslin, embroidered in white linen thread. Stitches; darning, running, buttonholed eyelets. Variety of open fillings in edging shapes and final edging of buttonhole. Pattern; slight floral.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1985-130, unmade sleeve ruffle in cotton embroidered with cotton, c. 1740-1760
  • Manchester 1951.428a/2, sleeve ruffles, c. 1740-1770; “White muslin, three shaped falls of gradated widths, each widening from narrow top; gathered together on narrow linen tape; each edge embroidered with small scallops and trailing stem and scattered sprays in white silk satin stitch and varieties of drawn and openwork.”
  • Met 1973.51a, b, British, c. 1750
  • LACMA M.57.8.19a-b, engageantes in linen plain weave with cotton embroidery (drawn work, shadow and feather stitch), France, c. 1750
  • LACMA M.64.85.10a-c, pair of engageantes and shirt robing in linen Dresden and drawn work on cotton, c. 1750
  • LACMA M.81.97.1a-b, a pair of engageantes, Germany, mid-18th century; “linen on cotton drawnwork and feather stitch embroidery”
  • LACMA M.81.97.3a-b, a pair of engageantes of white cotton Dresden work on white linen, Germany, mid-18th century
  • LACMA M.82.290a-b, white cotton embroidery on a white cotton ground, France, c. 1750
  • LACMA M.84.16.1a-b, a pair of engageantes, probably France, c. 1750; “cotton embroidery and pulled work on cotton with bobbin lace edging”
  • Met 1975.34.5a-d, British, mid-18th century
  • Whitework sleeve ruffles, England, mid 18th century
  • LACMA M.81.97.2a-b, a pair of engageantes, probably England, c. 1750-1760; “silk embroidery (running, darning stitches) and pulled threadwork on cotton”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1984-60,2, cotton triple-tier sleeve ruffles embroidered in cotton on cotton, c. 1750-1775
  • Met 1984.146a, b, cotton engageantes, c. 1750-1775
  • Killerton National Trust 1362535.1 and 1362535.2, c. 1750-1780
  • DAR 76.118.B, “White linen sleeve ruffle with white chainstitch embroidered floral sprigs above scalloped edge with eyelet and chainstitch embroidered border. Width varies along the length of the ruffle. Fine handkerchief hems along upper edge and sides,” probably England, 1750-1780
  • Manchester 1970.206, undersleeves & sleeve ruffles, c. 1750-1780; “Made up as later undersleeve. White muslin. Edge embroidered with small buttonhole stitched scallops, enclosing border of interlacing drawn thread work and long and short stitch filling, floral sprigs in chain stitch, long and short stitch, buttonhole stitch and drawn thread work, cut and with join to make up into straight frill for later undersleeves of muslin.”
  • LACMA M.79.19.6a-b, cotton plain weave with cotton embroidery, probably England, c. 1760
  • LACMA M.81.143.4a-b, a pair of engageantes, probably England, c. 1760; “linen embroidery (satin and darning stitches) on cotton ground”
  • LACMA M.82.26.2a-b, a pair of lace engageantes, probably England, c. 1760; “linen embroidery (darning stitch and pulled fabric work) on cotton”
  • Met 2009.300.5802a-d, cotton, British, c. 1760
  • Killerton National Trust 1363240, c. 1760-1770; “Triple flounced muslin sleeve ruffle of Dresdon work fine drawn (pulled) threadwork outlined by tambour in design of flowers, fruit, cornucopia etc, with scalloped picot edging.”
  • Met 2009.300.6217a, b, cotton, possibly British, c. 1760-1780
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1985-127,1, linen sleeve ruffle made in England c. 1760-1790
  • Met 1985.140.4a, b, [embroidered] cotton engageantes, Britain, c. 1765
  • Manchester 1983.662, c. 1765-1775; “Pair of sleeve ruffles. Double layer of fine cotton, bottom layer longer than top, gathered lightly into stronger cotton wristband, also white, edges of ruffles are embroidered in white running stitch, and drawn threadwork, in a floral design.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1954-67,3, sleeve ruffle in semi-sheer cotton patterned with a self-color check, the scalloped edges embroidered with chain stitches and finished with buttonhole stitching, 1765-1780
  • Manchester 1953.71.3, c. 1765-1775
  • Met 1998.270.2a, b, cotton, Britain, 1770
  • LACMA M.84.63.1a-b, a pair of engageantes, late 18th century; “linen embroidery (chainstitch) and pulled threadwork on muslin with linen bobbin lace edging”