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Sunday, June 10, 2012

QUICK RESEARCH I - Flannel


From time to time I do a quick on-line research on small questions that I need a quick fix to. And so therefore, I'll be posting them too, just in case someone out there is interested.
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Lately, one of those questions was about the use of flannel during the Regency fashion. Specially in underwear and in Winter time. I already had found info on that matter in regard of a pink petticoat in that book I've mentioned in a previous post on fashion (Trajo popular em Portugal nos séculos XVIII e XIX” in the post of November 2011). What I needed to find out now was about shifts/chemises, since there's a chance that I'll be doing a winter re-enactment event and I need proper clothing. You can read the links of the pages yourselves, I'll just be posting the answers to my questions. And here's what I found:

Sea bathing in York in 1814.

1st, that there were 2 types of flannel, one with a simple weave and one in twill and the most common type of flannel was the woolen one. For those of you who don't know the difference, a simple weave is actually what it means – simply woven and for that look at a piece of cotton or linen cloth – and twill is the same as you have on your jeans. The main difference between those 2 is that the twill weave makes the fabric resistant then the simple weave.



2nd, that in the 18th to early 19th century, flannel was used more for underwear (exactly what I was looking for!). Plaided shirts came later. In fact in the 18th century a flannel petticoat was called a “dicky”. I found a reference that in Jane Austen's “Sense and sensibility” flannel is mentioned but I couldn't find it out myself. Now, all I needed to know was if the shifts women wore were made out of flannel too.




Last but not least, long flannel shifts were used by women during the Regency period to cover themselves when they went “swimming” at the beach, although bathing naked was also acceptable. But I intend to cover myself when it's cold outside, not go skinny-dipping in Winter! I need shifts!



And so, my dear friends, ends my quick research and posting that indirectly answered my quastions about underwer for colder days. Hope it can be as usefull for you as it has been for me.

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