Fitzgerald, Phionna (2016) Cuts, Construction and Categorisations: Challenging Perceptions of 19th Century Women’s Costume. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This research challenges the perceptions of the categorisation of 19th century women’s costume through investigating the pattern-cutting and construction of garments held within Bankfield Museums costume archive.
There is a lot of research on the history of women’s fashions in this period although this is mostly based around visual references or design features and there is little focus on manufacturing. The few studies that discuss the history of construction and pattern-cutting methods are inclined to focus on 20th century
The aim of this investigation was to explore and question the progression of construction methods and processes in women’s clothing throughout the 19th Century. In addition, this research also sought to question and explore the accuracy of the current dating system of women’s costume with regard to incorporating more detail about construction methods and techniques.
The methods used for this research started with the examination and documentation of over thirty pieces of costume held within Bankfield Museum’s
collections, followed with experimentation of construction techniques and recreation of four pieces. This was further corroborated through interviews with costume/textile curators and reviewing existing literature.
The investigations found a significant amount of progression within all aspects of manufacturing although these changes were mainly within the latter part of the century. These findings further supported the view that current dating methods could be improved and extensive interdisciplinary knowledge is required to
perform this process accurately.
Further research is required to unearth the fundamental reasons surrounding the progression of garment construction by means of focusing on the latter part of the century where the majority of change transpired.

Final Thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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