Dress fabric, England, about 1733. Museum no. T.837-1974

Dress fabric, England, about 1733. Museum no. T.837-1974

This room has an interesting combination of objects relating to tea-drinking in the mid 17th century as well as the development of silk-weaving in Spitalfields, London. New furniture and equipment for tea-drinking were initially copies of Chinese designs and decoration but many original English designs soon developed. Spitalfields weavers produced plain and patterned fabrics, with new designs every season. Dress silks were woven in limited lengths to preserve their exclusivity. The designs though influenced by French fashions soon developed a distinctive English style characterised by naturalism and clarity in design and colouring.

Room 52b is on Level 2 of the V&A South Kensington.

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V&A Pattern: Spitalfields Silks

V&A Pattern: Spitalfields Silks

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