McLintock's Down
c. 1870

 McLintock and Sons of Barnsley, Yorkshire claimed to be the first firm to make down filled clothing around 1867.

Eiderdown petticoats were in use from the early 1840s to the late 1880s as a means of providing supple support to dresses and for warmth.

Eider down is actually the feathers from the breast of the Eider duck and was imported in quantities from Russia since this was considered the best quality.

Many petticoats like this were made in factories although in the 1860s the Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine does give hints on making your own at home and recommends using old silk skirts which are no longer good enough to be worn as skirts.


filled Turkey Red discharge cotton printed Petticoat, with label McLintock's Patent Purified Russian Down Skirt. No 9 Two double sets of medals at the top , the print with sprays of Indian inspired flowers using green, yellow, black and blue dyes on the red ground, the skirt of four panels horizontally divided by channels filled with silk down, with single plaited crimson, brown and white braid machine stitched in wavy lines to both sides of the garment. the front with a 3 in; 8 cm flat yoke gathered into a channel with tapes, above 6 1/2 in; 7 cm flat panel above; seven channels ;the back with 6 in; 15 cm shaped yoke above a deeper flat panel of 10 in; 26 cm, above ten channels, the lining of plain Turkey red cotton, original ties at waist


Excellent apart from 4 in; 10 cm of damage to the waistband to the side of centre, where the white tape is exposed. We have conserved this and the damage is hardly visible.


The bright red dye is called Turkey Red, based on madder which was colourfast and a involved a new method of production using oil and soda. It was discovered and copied from the Near East. Goose down was used for the filling. Indian influence can be seen in the print. Quilted petticoats remained popular in the 19th century for winter wear. From the 1860's colourful undergarments were produced, the designs often registered in an attempt to protect the copyright from rival manufacturers, such as Booth & Fox. There are examples in Platt Hall, Manchester; Bath Fashion Museum, V & A and Canon Hall Museum, Barnsley,South Yorkshire which has a small collection of McLintoch's underwear.

Quilt Studies The Journal of The British Quilt Study Group. Issue 1 1999  Tobin, Shelley A Brief History of Underwear p 24  Johnston, Lucy Nineteenth-Century Fashion in Detail p 102


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