Black wool tailcoat with quilted lining, 1850s

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.

  1. Black wool tailcoat with quilted satin lining
    American, 1850s
    Wool broadcloth, satin, braid, cotton twill pockets
    Gift of Mrs. F. Eugene Schumacher, KSUM 1986.17.1

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