Classic 18th Century 'Plain Sewn' Infant Cap
Continuing my 'Heads up to 2020' theme [if a little delayed!], here is a charming infant cap dating to the 18th Century.
No matter how many times I examine these tiny pieces, I feel honoured. Not because they are fancy at all, but because of the 'plain sewing' in evidence. Usually constructed by the governess of the family, and sometimes mama herself, we can never see stitch work so fine after the early 19th Century. How did they ever do it?
I have written about plain sewing in my Blogs and you can read about the technique in detail in Gail Marsh's book '18th Century Embroidery Techniques' [see The Study for full reference].
This cap, made of fine linen and muslin, has a double flounce around the face and a single flounce to the back, all in muslin. The tiny stitching is all the more remarkable when we see the minute drawn thread lines that seperate each section.
There is the usual double layer band all around the front of the head, but then the back crown is quite unusual in shaping. Instead of the oft found insertion, there is a semi circle of darts that deliver the close fitted back! I haven't seen this before and it is very clever.
We find little ties to adjust the size at the centre back neck, the rear of the front band and even between the double layer of flounces at the face front. All in beautifully fresh condition.
The cap measures 12" around the face, 11" at the lower back edge and of course can be made smaller all over.
The cap is super clean and these pieces can always be soaked in cold water when they get dusty. There is one very small and pale yellow spot stain of no consequence. All ties are present and the entire condition is excellent.