Man's linen shirt with mother-of-pearl buttons and cut with long tails, with the extra fabric used as a type of underwear to cover and protect body parts. Examples like these can contain some of the finest stitches found on domestic items of clothing. Usually stitched by wives or daughters, they were technical marvels of needlework seen in examples such as this shirt with rows of back-stitch on the cuffs that are 32 stitiches to the inch. The fine sewing also enabled the garments to survive both hard use and cleaning techniques such as boiling and the use of lye soap. The frills along the center front neck are always made from much finer linen, and were often starched and pressed into elaborate pleats.
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