Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Parfilage" . . . . .


"Ravelling".......


"Drizzling".....


Have you heard of these terms before? All three refer to a trendy and common practice in the late 18th century.......currently the cheezy 'cash for gold' commercial on the television is coming to mind....but really~ its true! It was all the fashion for the upper class ladyes to unpick the real gold and silver embroidery from their clothing and pretties, and have it melted down and sold for extra money. I have read they even had advertised parties, where many friends would come over to help unpick lace and spangles from undoubtedly the most beautiful trifles in the bottom of their wardrobes. Not only was lace and embroidery unpicked, but the silver and gold threads woven into beautiful silks was also harvested...how you ask? The cloth was burned quickly, and the threads gathered and refined. It is truly a wonder that what we have today, has survived all the make-overs and unpicking, weather and time......

2 comments:

Finegan Antiques said...

Love little tidbits of knowledge, especially from the 18th century! I never knew about parfilage but it makes perfect sense. Gilt thread and lace were cash cows waiting to be harvested in hard economic times. It makes me treasure my 18th century examples even more. Thanks for sharing!
Donna

Lana said...

Learn something new every day! Thanks for the info Rach! Those samples of your are beautiful!