Sunday, August 26, 2012

Knitted Petticoats

I spent the afternoon browsing the "Underneath it All" exhibit at the Missouri History Museum. I ran in to some unexpected knitwear!

Apparently, when steel cages became popular, it also became in vogue to wear knitted petticoats for both warmth and to provide some modesty in case your hoop misbehaved and showed a little more limb than intended. The display said this red petticoat was from the late 1800s (1860 maybe?) but it looks like it could have been knitted yesterday. It was very well preserved! It didn't look worn at all. It certainly didn't seem to suffer from the dreaded saggy skirt bottom we know so well in modern knit skirts.

There is ribbing at the waist, which transitions in to pleats. The stitch pattern is a square pattern with purl "triangles" at the top of each square. At the bottom, some sort of chevron or feather and fan patterns. I think I would have just let my ankles show.


  1. Sadly Mo Hist thinks it is crochet, instead of knitted. Nice photos.

    1. Deborah said the same thing, but the sign in front of the garment yesterday definitely said "knitted wool petticoat". I wonder if they got a new sign?

  2. Replies
    1. It was very cool! There were some very nice knitted lace stockings, as well, but the light was too low to get a decent shot.


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