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Roller print day dress, 1810-1815. Susan Greene Collection, GCVM 90.25

Day dress of roller-printed cotton, 1810-1815. Susan Greene Collection, GCVM 90.25

Lately, I have developed an obsession with this roller-print day dress from the Greene Collection At Genessee Country Village Museum. I first encountered it on the 19th US Infantry’s website, a haven for those of us consumed with the early Federal everyday.

The 19th US site provides more photos and a drawing of the dress, so that if one were to become impossibly obsessed with the dress, one could recreate it. And if one were up late nights, one might consider how to create a copper-engraved roller for printing cotton.

Johann Klein dress, 1810

A more productive line of thought might be to consider this fashion plate, found during an early-morning Pinterest session. I think it gives us a sense of how rapidly fashion crossed the Atlantic (just as quick as engravings could be printed and bound into magazines, and boats could make the trip), and how avidly women copied the latest fashion.

That avidity would have been tempered by access to fabrics, but the resemblance between the dress at Genessee and the fashion illustration is striking, indeed.

Now, to find some fabric…