Extant Italian Shifts (Camicie)

Private Collection

16th - Early 17th Century, Italian

"Embroidered linen shift...115 x 133 cm.....of linen cloth with seams and hems embroidered with light green silk; the wide sleeves have been removed. The square neck opening is embellished with free-standing points of silk and gold lace and a border with a floral trail embroidered in gold and colours.

The embroidery is of gold thread and coloured silks in couched work and satin stitch.

This is a rare example of the embroidered personal linen which was prominently displayed in Renaissance dress. The cut of this garment, though not the embroidery, is related to an example in the Museo del Tessuto, Prato."


Monique King and Donald King, European Textiles in the Keir Collection 400BC to 1800AD. London, 1990, Faber & Faber.


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