There are very similar chain/tambour sprigs in a pattern book in Paisley Museum: Muslin,Tamboured,Pattern Book Manufactured by Brown & Sharp 1770
Professional hand embroidery in Scotland began as a rural home industry. Agents in Paisley and Glasgow organised the putting out system, supplying materials and embroidery designs - even printing the time allowed for the sewing - to outworkers, then collecting the finished work. There were also sprigging warehouses where young girls were probably trained* The muslin was almost certainly aslo worked in Paisley, well known in the late 18th and early 19th century for this product.
It is nice to have the original very narrow linen tapes, which are so often damaged or missing, under the fall front bodice.
the fine muslin sprinkled with minute embroidered chain stitch squiggles, leaves and flowers worked in white cotton with a tambour hook, the bodice with scoop neck, linen lined bodice and original ties to the front, short slightly shaped sleeves, their edges with Buckingham lace insert between shallow flat tucks, the back with deeply inset sleeves, the fall front with similar lace curving inserts and vertical fine tucks, the apron skirt gathered with original linen ties, the hem with similar rows of tucks, approximate length 53 in/1.35 m
As you look at the dress there is a small yellowish stain on the right hand shoulder. There are a couple of very small holes to the bottom of the lace under the bust and a very few to the lace on the sleeves. There is a small hole to the front right of the dress. One marvellous original darn nearby. A tiny light brown mark , and a few little holes near hem. The lower front of the skirt has very minor feint soft yellow marks. Also a nibble out of the hem. A few light brown small marks to the back and one little hole. Ask for photos if you cannot see. My guess is a conservator could wash the dress and greatly improve the look.
* Muslin Sonia Ashmore p 57
My thanks to Dan Coughlan of Paisley Museum for advising on the embroidery.
All images and text © meg-andrews.com 2021