Figured Silk Sarsnet Dress
Style: In the late 1810s, elaborate hem trims on widening skirts are in style. Sleeve puffs are popular—usually in a “Renaissance” style with slashed effects and contrasting fabric puffs.
The neoclassical mode and its simplicity have been eclipsed in favor of a variety of historic and ethnographic influences, and increasing amounts of decoration.
Fabric: “Sarsnet” (also spelled “sarcenet”) is a lightweight silk, often woven with small-scale decorative designs as seen here. Contrasting textures of sarcenet and silk satin, and Renaissance-inspired sleeve puffs, were features introduced in the late 1810s.
Silk sarsnet and satin dress, 2013.26.1, gift of Virginia Oakie; Machine-embroidered net shawl, mid-1800s, 2014.16, gift of Ann H. Zuhr.
Miniature portrait of Eliza Weedon Shindler, about 1820, watercolor on ivory, DAR Museum 2015.2, gift of Eloise Brooks.