Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Hoop Skirts ~ 1857 Godey's Ladys Book, Vol. LV

Fashions of the Hooped Skirts~
Our readers, In places remote from cities, can have but a faint idea of the extent, in all phases, of this wonderful fashion. A few facts, respecting the business In the city of New York, a business scarcely three years old, may be interesting. This information ls taken from a reliable source, the New York Post. " One firm in the business, besides their establishments in Connecticut and other places, occupy three floors of a building in Broadway, two hundred feet deep, and thirty wide, in the manufacture. In the busy season, three hundred girls (a charming congregation, by the way, to the admirers of female beauty), earning from five and a half to ten dollars each a week, are employed in cutting out and sewing skirts three thousand of which are turned out in a day. One hundred and fifty of Wheeler & Wilson's sewing-machines, and a variety of ingenious labor-saving inventions are constantly in play, so that a single skirt is made In ten minutes. We have known a husband enter the store, give an order for his wife's skirt, have it patterned and made, and receive it all done up, and ready to be carried home before he had half smoked his cigar."A ton of cord is consumed in a week in the manufacture, and not less than $6000 worth of whalebone in a month; and then what acres of muslin and crinoline, what lengths of thread and tape, what enormous quantities of little brazen tubes to unite the hoops will, in process of time, be consumed, it has not entered into the head of man to estimate. The imagination fairly breaks down in the contemplation. "The most popular style of skirts and the most graceful now worn, Is bell-shaped, and in size is just medium between the ungraceful straight petticoat, with its folds collapsing round the hips and -legs, and the full-blown ultra mode which Is such an annoyance to the wearers* companions In a theatre or an omnibus. It has three bones, the lengths of which are fifty-six Inches at the top, seventy-four in the middle, and ninety-five at the bottom. These are considered the proper proportions, though we have seen some skirts at Genln's which, at the lower bone, measure no less than one hundred and fifteen inches in circumference. As for the number of hoops, tastes differ. Some ladies go as high as six, while few are content with less than two.

No comments:

Post a Comment