“Must have” 1830s accessory

This weeks must have accessory is a fichu dated from the mid 1800s, which to my thinking is 1833-66.  It seems, from my on-line searches, that fichus were more common in the 3os with capes and shawls being more common in the 40s.  I hope there is someone more knowledgeable out there that can set me straight if I’m wrong on this.

It is made of pina cloth. Pina comes from the Philippines and is made from pineapple leaves.

I don’t know how easy it would be to find pina here in Canada so if I made this, I would have to use some other sheer material or order it on-line.  If I made this, I would definitely keep the color.  That purple trim really drew my eye to is.  Wouldn’t that be lovely on a white or mauve day gown or purple evening gown?


6 thoughts on ““Must have” 1830s accessory

  1. prttynpnk says:

    I think i need a dozen of these- it’s perfect for friskily covering the unpleasant parts of my arms! Now how long before we get your tutorial and pdf??? Come on, fichu your friends!

  2. That would look lovely with the gowns you mentioned. But here’s my question: was a fichu strictly a decorative item? Capes and shawls are obviously useful but this fichu doesn’t seem to be much more than an accessory. But I don’t know nearly as much about Victorian ladies wear as you do!

    • I think they were often used to make the lower cut dresses more appropriate for day wear. They would hide a bare shoulder and lower neck line…much like we might use a camisole to untramp a top for day wear. They might tie it in the front or tuck it into the neck line. (Has an added benefit for ladies with more diminutive girls.)
      The first photo I found of the hide the girls use was actually of the 1700s
      Another use is protection from the sun. Shirley is wearing a dress copied from 1830s fashions in this photoshoot and she burnt to a crisp. she is considering some sort of fichu/collar arrangement for next time!

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