Broderie Anglaise is a type of whitework needlework that originated in Eastern Europe but gained popularity in England in the 19th Century and had a revival in the 50’s. It is characterised by oval/round eyelets that are bound by overcast or buttonhole stitches. The whitework features cutwork, embroidery and needle lace techniques. Floral patterns are popular and are usually worked on a white fabric, cotton or linen, and white threads. In the past, the techniques/fabrics were handmade, although, today, they are mostly Machine made. Broderie Anglaise is more study than lace and is generally suited for day time wear.
On analysis we found that the dress features a broderie anglaise tunic dress layered on top of a sheath dress.
It must have been extremely fashionable at the time it was made as it features the nipped-in waist, square accentuated pockets and medium flared skirt characteristic of 1950s.
Caulfeild, S. and Saward, B. (1896) The dictionary of needlework. London: A.W. Cowan.
Swain, M. (1982) Ayrshire and other whitework. Princes Risborough: Shire.