Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More On Paniers

As promised, I did more research on paniers (or panniers - the names are used interchangeably), and was extremely pleased with what I found. According to this Glossary of 18th Century Clothing Items, there were several types of paniers (which was mentioned in my last post), and each of the types of paniers have different names.

Hoops started in England (not in France, as I assumed because of their French name), "during the 1710s and were cone-shaped and, it seems, not always full-length. Depending on the source, they were introduced to France in 1718 or 1719. Soon their shape changed into a huge dome, spreading equally all around, which gave cause to much amusement (caricaturists) as well as consternation (church).
"The dome quickly decreased in size and flattened in front and back, then flattened even more into a broad oval. Around the middle of the century, the panier was divided into two baskets, one over each hip, and still later received pads on top so that it reached the elbows. Other developments are half-length paniers with flounces round the hem, and a short, wide and boxy panier that only reached to mid-thigh. In the 1780s, paniers vanished altogether and were replaced by pads." (Glossary of 18th Century Clothing Items)

 The "short, wide, boxy paniers" that theoretically were predominantly British, (as is this pair).

This revelation highly pleased me, as it appears that the mid-century paniers were the separate-pocket type, which is what I made. Yay for that serendipitous occasion! The Glossary also included several terms for the specific types of paniers. I've copied them over from the Glossary.

panier a coudes - paniers with an oval dome shape

panier janseniste - A short kind of panier, stiffened with horsehair or hoops, that replaced the long, heavy paniers of the first half of the century. It is sometimes identified with considerations.

criarde - an early kind of panier, or its ancestress. Being made of gum-stiffened fabric, sometimes involving leather and cane in its construction, it gave off a screeching, squeaking sound in movement. First used by actresses to add volume to their costumes, it is thought to have been adopted as the earliest kind of panier.

a bourrelets - flaring paniers

a coupole - dome-shaped paniers

considerations - A short, small kind of panier, sometimes identified with the janseniste, sometimes with what in English is called pocket hoops: Two small "cages" of calico or linen with each three rows of boning in tunnels, slightly flaring, attached to a waistband. One sat over each hip, so they were also called "false hips". Both had a slit at the top into which a pocket, also attached to a waistband, could be hung. But as the pocket hoops were closed at the bottom, they could also be used as pockets in their own right - hence the name (this is what I have).

This dress could very well have "considerations," otherwise known as "pocket hoops" (dress from the 1750s), which is what I used for my dress (see my earlier blog on paniers for a picture of my pair).

So, now you know even more about paniers (like you needed more superfluous information rattling around in your brain, right?) I'm pleased to know more on the topic - now when I'm wearing my dress and people ask about the shape, I can explain how it evolved through the different periods and became the pocket-hoops that I wear.

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