Introducing Fabric and Fashion of the Early 1900s
In the early 1900s fashionable women needed dresses for many different social gatherings such as, morning dresses, afternoon dresses, evening gowns and simpler dresses that were not occasion-specific. They also wore suits with shirt waist blouses and coordinating jackets. Favorite sport activities were swimming, tennis, ice skating and cycling. On the streets of New York at that time the ladies looked like they had just visited the Garment District New York City. You would not find the ladies of that day not dressed in the finest designs which were made with luxurious quality fabric.
Custom dress makers such as the Tirocchi Sisters were in great demand, thus fabric was also in demand. The fabrics used in men’s clothing were mostly light backgrounds with stripes or small figures. The lighter men’s fabrics were often used for quilts to contrast the burgundy, navy, black and dark green which were popular at that time. Dark colors were very prevalent in the fabric of the 1900s. These colors were reflecting the Civil War, mourning the death of Queen Victoria and the 1929 crash of the stock market known as Black Tuesday. However, the advances in newer dyes in the mid 1920s brought forth a palette of pastels which ushered in a huge array of solid and calico fabrics created to celebrate the vibrancy of the decade. No matter what garment they wore in the early 1900’s it was designed to show off a woman’s tightly corseted torso.
Ladies of the 21st Century we should be very grateful that we did not endure anything like this.
Can you say ouch and I can’t breathe. During the 19th Century ladies often wore corsets. The corset was designed and fashioned with channels running throughout the garment. It was constructed with tightly woven fabric and leather. The vertical ribs were inserted, called boning as they were often made of whale bone. Ivory and wood were also used. Worn at all times, after all you had to maintain that 16 inch waist line. The laces were tightened from the back. This tightening process could sometimes be extreme. This sounds terrible and possibly could cause injury.
Many stories of the 1900’s Indicated that the well bred women of this time were quite emotional. When faced with even the slightest emotional or physical shock they would loose consciousness.Dropping like flies or at least as far as many stories indicate.
Over the years there have been several theories as to why this seemed to happen, from the women’s garb to simply conforming to societal expectations.
The evil consequences of tight lacing are universally admitted and it is believed that the Corset was thecause of some of the fainting. Also others believe that the Corset put enough pressure on the body to break ribs and displace organs.
In 1907 Paul Poiret designed the first loose elegant dresses with high waist lines which instigated the demise of the corset. Might I just add thank
Dresses in the 1900’s required more fabric than dresses of today. The wardrobes of the 1900’s seem to be much like those of ladies of today.
As I said fabric was in great demand in the 1900s. Fabric shops were open and selling fabric. I don’t believe they were familiar with our now most sought after fabric which is available at fabric stores in 2017 such as Fat Quarter Shop.