Fashion on the Edge of the World

1702-1726          1727-1759          1760-1774          1775-1799

The frontier of the British Empire we may have been, exploited by our King, ignored by Parliament, struggling to survive and thrive in a new world when our freedoms were being systematically reduced by a greedy government.   But at least we had the decency to be well dressed!   No, we weren’t dressing as decadently as Louis XVI’s court in France…   But we certainly have nothing of which to be ashamed.

There is long tradition of textile production in Pennsylvania and the 18th century saw it flourish.   From the Blue Dyers of Germantown who put the world in indigo stockings, to the Lehigh Valley flax growers from whose seed was grown the finest Irish linen, Pennsylvania has a proud legacy of clothing the world.   At home we surely didn’t suffer either.   The textile collections of Pennsylvania museums are rich with examples of native and foreign workmanship.   From Quaker simplicity to the height of Philadelphia elegance, Pennsylvania is stocked with gorgeous garments from the 18th century.

In these pages, you will read about my attempts to replicate some of these garments to wear at 18th century living history events.   I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I enjoyed making and wearing the clothes.


© 2002, 2003 Kass McGann. All Rights Reserved. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

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