The suburbs of London, near Bishopsgate, were the scene of a thriving silk industry from the early eighteenth century on. The cloth, used principally for dress material, was made by journeymen weavers in an area called Spitalfields, a name that became synonymous with the silks produced there. Working in a dynamic fashion center so close to the London marketplace, the designers of Spitalfields silks changed their patterns often. In the 1750s, when this dress was made, the silks were patterned with garden flowers arranged on an open ground in curving Rococo forms. The wide hoops then in fashion would have shown these materials to good advantage.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Eighteenth-Century Woman," January 1, 1981–January 2, 1982.