1840 Red Diaper Print Dress

The term “diaper print” refers to a small diagonal printed fabric. At one time, white linen with a woven diaper print was used for baby nappies, and that is how the modern term “diaper” evolved. In the 19th century diaper prints were very common textiles. By 1840 the big sleeves were out and long tight sleeves were once again in fashion. This dress has a ruffled sleeve cap. The waistline is now at the natural waist.  Another interesting characteristic of dresses from the early 19th century is that they tended to close in the back. Beginning in the 1850’s most dresses close in the front, with the exception of ball gowns which almost always close in the back.  The dress was made over a pattern by the Wisconsin Historical Society 1840 Day Dress pattern.