The beautifully finished interior of this mid-nineteenth century man’s tailcoat provides an interesting counterpoint to the comparatively crude linings of the previous century. Although none of the lining would be visible when the coat was worn, the quilting is a thing of beauty. Tailoring had developed into an art form, which is particularly impressive considering that this garment predates the adoption of the sewing machine. The fine wool was steamed into a three-dimensional shape and the interior padding serves to round out the suit into the desired silhouette.
- Black wool tailcoat with quilted satin lining
Wool broadcloth, satin, braid, cotton twill pockets
Gift of Mrs. F. Eugene Schumacher, KSUM 1986.17.1
This detail from a fashion plate that appeared in Le Progrès, July 1852, shows how this style of tailcoat would have been worn. While tailcoats would later become the most formal style of men’s coat, at the 1850s it was not as exclusive in its usage. As this plate shows, it did not have to be worn as part of a coordinated suit, but could be paired with contrasting pants.
The M-notch lapels were a style that was popular through the 1830s and 40s. By the 1850s the style was less common, but could still be found on some tailcoats, such as this one.
This close up image shows the shape of the M-notch lapels. It also reveals the very fine braid that has been stitched to the outside edge. Such details attest to the exceptional quality of the tailoring on this piece.
Although none of the lining would be visible when the coat was worn, the quilting is a thing of beauty. Tailoring had developed into an art form, which is particularly impressive considering that this garment predates the adoption of the sewing machine.
These v-shaped lines extend down the inside of the tails.
The interior padding in this coat serves to round out the suit into the desired silhouette. There is a pocket concealed in the inside of the jacket.
In each of the tails, there is a large pocket concealed between the lining and the exterior.
The felted finish of the wool prevented it from unraveling. The bottom edge of the coat is actually the raw edge of the fabric. The raw edges of the facings on the interior however, are finished with a pinked edge, which resembles dovetail joints.
This detail image shows the fine stitching on the interior of this coat. The light colored sleeve lining is carefully stitched to the rest of the lining.
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