I was thinking about what one would want to know in order to get any clarity on what Dutch chintz or jackets (or short gowns) in the ads could mean. There’d be the question of where the runaway came from originally (Netherlands or one of the German states). What the writer of the ad meant by chintz. And jacket/short gown/gown-that-is-short/caraco, and what that might really mean. And what the provenance is (really) for extant garments. Chintz is the easiest part there. And the blue Dutch chintz could be something like the Den Haan and Wagenmakers: 

I don’t know enough to draw a conclusion any more spectacular or detailed than “clothing other than gowns was worn by working women, and it was sometimes of calico or chintz.”


The catalog record for the jacket/caraco at the Met doesn’t say who owned it or how they know the origin is the Netherlands. It would be helpful to know if that meant just fabric, or fabric and finished garment.

Laying out this jacket and the ones at Snowshill, and the other examples in collections, would be interesting and might be revealing. Same with the short gowns in the world, from Williamsburg to Genessee Country Village.

Over time, I hope to see and learn enough to get a little closer to understanding something, and it might be more about the origins of people in the early US, and not anything about clothing. It will depend on how hard I work at it, and where I look.