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Corsets and Crinolines - unique vintage clothing

Purple Velvet Cape

Purple Velvet Cape
C.1860-1863. Made of silk velvet, this bright purple color was thanks to the new chemical dyes. Purple quickly became a fashionable color and many clothing items were dyed this wondeful shade.
The cape is lined in glazed cotton, with an extra panel of silk, lining the inside flaps near the opening. If the cape blew open, the partial lined silk front would give the appearance of the whole cape being lined in silk). The front fastens with brass hooks and thread loops.
The collar comes up around the base of the neckline, as is typcial of 1860's fashions. The front has a V shape panel of velvet decoration which starts low down over the shoulders to give the appearance of sloped shoulders, and ends in a semi V shape at the bottom front. The back is plain. It is a long cape, coming down to about hip level on me at 5'9". It would have been worn during the autumn most likely. A large size, it fits a woman of about a US size 16/ UK size 18.
(Formerly L. Hidic)