Whoever wore this must have looked stunning. Turkey Red requires a special dye process, when the cotton must be treated with a metallic salt before dyeing. This elaborate and time consuming technique originally came from the Levant and Eastern Mediterranean. The French were the first to dye Turkey Red and it was not until the 1780s that the technique was mastered in Britain, thanks to a Frenchman. Manchester and Glasgow were the areas producing the dye and I think we can assume the dress was made in one of those two cities.
From the collection of the late Mrs June Jeffreys (1928 – 2016) who married George William Eyre Jeffreys (1931 - 2019) in 1960. The house Newhouse, Redlynch, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, has been in the family for 400 years and many of the dress collection was inherited through Mr Jeffrey’s family.
Scarlet cotton hand block printed with small sprays of flowers in four different designs, in yellow, mid green and touches of black.
The round neck with piping, piping to centre front and to the double frilled diagonals from waist to shoulder, highish waistline, the back bodice with six hooks and eyes to the opening, gigot sleeves narrowing to rouleau trimmed cuffs, the skirt flat at the front and sides, the back with tight cartridge pleating, the deep hem with tight rouleau trimmed small frill, the bodice lined with thickish cotton.
Underarm: 32 in; 81cm. Shoulder to hem: 54 in;1.38 m
Hem circumference: 6ft 4 in; 1.92 m
Very good. The back waist closure cotton has worn. There is enough cotton inside the waist to conserve these two small areas 2cm diameter. On the frilled hem the rouleau has worn and shows the cord ,3 1/4 in; 8 cm. Again there is enough fabric on the inside waist for repairs. No underarm staining.
Four Aspects of Turkey Red. Deryn O'Connor. Quilt Studies. The Journal of The British Quilt Study Group. Issue 1, 1999.
University of Glasgow - eprints.gla.ac.uk/182279/13/182279.pdf
All images and text © meg-andrews.com 2021