This quilted petticoat is a fascinating garment. Though worn as an undergarment, it features detailed quilting and a cheerful textile. We first published this post in late 2009, but with winter weather on the horizon, it seemed a good time to revisit this warm and visually striking petticoat.
Before the introduction of the cage crinoline in 1856, women typically wore multiple layers of petticoats. The petticoat layers (sometimes as many as 6!) not only shaped the skirt into a fashionable bell-shape, but also provided warmth. Between about 1825-1850, petticoats with elaborate quilting were fashionable. Called "quilted coats," "wearing quilts" or "quilts," these petticoats were simply large quilts meant to be worn on the body. They were often created in the same manner as bed quilts, with women working together to complete the patterned stitching. After stitching up the single, vertical back-seam and gathering the drawstring waist, the quilted petticoat was ready for wearing.