Saturday, December 19, 2015

Alice's Scrapbag: Mama's Wrapper

A small sprig print in my reproduction collection
Alice's Scrapbag is named Mama's Wrapper.

Scrapbags, real and imaginary, would have fabrics
 leftover from making wrappers.

A wrapper was ladies' at-home wear, often made of cotton.

"Lawn with ruffles or white material with flouncing look equally well."
Godey's Lady's Book

Wrappers are robes split down the front.

Do note that petticoats and hoops could be worn under the wrapper or not.

Wrappers could be elaborate as in this silk/wool example.

Harper's Bazaar, 1871 in the age of the bustle.

But a woman without an excess of servants would choose a cotton print.

Paisleys, madder shades and border prints were popular choices.

Talk about a border print!

In her 1873 book The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, Fashion, and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley explained the role of the wrapper:

"The most suitable dress for breakfast, is a wrapper made to fit the figure loosely, and the material, excepting when the winter weather required woolen goods, should be of chintz, gingham, brilliantine, or muslin. A lady who has children, or one accustomed to perform for herself light household duties, will soon find the advantage of wearing materials that will wash.....a lady should never receive morning callers in a wrapper.”

The print is reproduced in six colors in
 basic madder reproduction shades with a little bright blue.


  1. Wouldn't you love to cut up that border print for some awesome fussy cutting?

  2. Beautiful print on your fabric. I'm sure glad we don't have to wear all that fabric, what a hassle that must have been.

  3. Finally someone has explained to me what a wrapper is! I've read the term so many times in books about the period without really getting it. It's more than a house coat or housedress, but less than what one would wear outside or for company at home. And it opens down the front for practicality! Who would have known all that?
    Thanks for the enlightenment.

  4. Those dresses are gorgeous and all I see if fabric, lol.
    Beautiful new prints.


  5. Awesome blog. I like ever single picture of print, everything is great. Thank you for sharing. Love reading.point of sale materials printing