Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Jane F. Culbert, 1957
Not on view
During the nineteenth century, women had an extensive array of underpinnings, which could include a chemise, drawers, corset, corset cover, camisole, skirt supports and petticoats. Although to the modest nineteenth-century woman, it would be scandalous for any of these items to be seen, some underclothes were made of sumptuous silks and beautifully decorated with embroidery, ribbons and lace. This petticoat features whimsical eyelet embroidery with birds, the form of which is inspired by folk embroidery, and fruit on the vine. A well-loved form of decoration on nineteenth century clothing, eyelet embroidery is a time-consuming process which involves cutting holes out of the fabric to form the desired motif, then meticulously stitching around the hole to complete the design.