Shirts and Smocks at the V&A Museum

Woman's smock 1575-1585

Museum no. T.113

This smock is of fine white linen, embroidered with black silk (probably from Spain, according to the V&A) in stem, back and darning stitches with buttonhole fillings. The body and sleeves were made of a very fine silk, while the skirt (now missing--what's seen in the picture is a modern replacement) was made of a coarser linen. The lace is also a modern reproduction, copied from a period piece.

A Women's Smock c. 1630

Museum no. T.2-1956

This smock is made of very fine linen, sewn with deep pink silk (now faded.) The embroidery contains flowers, insects and animals. Some of the motifs were copied from A Schole-House for the Needle by Richard Schorleyker, first published in 1624. There are triangular gussets in the shoulders and large square gussets under the arms. All seams are embellished with pink silk.Close up photographs of this smock's embroidery are included in the book Fashion in Detail.

There are additional Elizabethan Smocks at the Costume Museum at Bath.

Back to the V&A Costume & Textiles Tour