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What is Poult De Soie????

Here's another of the dresses from my collection that will be on exhibit in May.

Green Day dress with Evening bodice - 1860s – silk poult de soie

Poult de soie is ribbed silk taffeta, sometimes called faille taffeta. Poult de soie is anotherof those fabric that are not produced anymore. During the mid-Victorian period, Poult De Soie was a relatively common fabric. All walks of life were able to purchase yardage as its price went from reasonable to OMG! The closest we have in modern fabric is faille taffeta. Its getting that even faille taffeta is rare.

All pieces are fully lined with brown polished cotton. All pieces are machine constructed, and hand finished. The bodice and evening bodice is heavily boned. The skirt front has been cut on three gores, and the back has been cartridge pleated into the waistband to accommodate the lavish skirt.

There are two bodies – the first is a day bodice trimmed with self-fabric in a box-pleat configuration. As our lady was lacking in the bust area, "improvements" were added between the lining and fashion fabric. The "improvement" is some type of wadding. I couldn't get into the dress to find what it is.

The evening bodice is fashioned with a deep v in the front and back. The bodice is heavily boned. It is closed at the back by means of lacing. The evening bodice is embellished the same as the day bodice. Self-fabric is sewn into box pleats and applied to the bodice. The bust has the same “improvement” as the day bodice.

This dress is very tiny, the original wearer was very thin and very small – hence the required “improvement” to the bust line. That's one of the earliest examples of 'stuffing" ones bra I have seen. :-)

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