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Title:gouache embroidery design for a waistcoat
Date Made:ca. 1775
Type:Tool - Textile Working
Materials:laid paper, gouache, watercolor
Place Made:United Kingdom; England
Accession Number:  HD 2001.48.3
Credit Line:Mr. and Mrs. Hugh B. Vanderbilt Fund for Curatorial Acquisitions
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

One of five gouache embroidery designs for a waistcoat, showing the pocket area at the lower front. Embroidery designs were made by specialized artists called "pattern drawers." These drawers were responsible for creating the design, which was then carried out by the professional embroiderer. Many of the floral designs were based on real flowers. It was assumed that with the pocket design in place, the rest of the front and collar would be obvious to the embroiderer. Waistcoats were pre-made from these designs, and then after purchase, fitted by a tailor to the needs of the wearer. These examples were drawn during a period following the establishment of the Royal Academy in 1768 to promote the arts of design through education and exhibition at a time the English were trying to compete with the French in the area of luxury goods; up to then, English pattern drawers had been considered vastly inferior to their continental counterparts (especially in the mid 18th century).

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