Hello Susan

As Catherine says there are several smocks in the V & A. This is their collections page - http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/t/the-collections/ You can search on 'smock'. There are several early women's smocks and the traditional work smocks. Another title you may be interested in is 'The Countryman's Smock' by Anne Buck - reprint from Folk Life; it does not mention any smocks being for women. I think it must be a very rare title, it is not listed on Amazon but you may be able to find a copy. In the UK we are able to request books from the British Library through our local libraries, a wonderful service. Do you have anything similar?


-----Original Message----- From: Catherine Walton
Sent: Saturday, December 19, 2015 7:02 AM
To: Historical Costume
Subject: Re: [h-cost] Who's still here? & smock question

I have the Shire book by Alice Armes, "English Smocks", (9th ed., Dryad
Press Ltd., London, 1987).  The section on the history of the English
smock only refers to men wearing smocks, but there is a later section on
the trade emblems embroidered on the smocks includes:  "Milkmaids -
churns, butter pats, hearts, etc.".  An embroidery pattern included with
the book is for these symbols.

It also says that:  "Elaborately decorated smocks were not produced
before the middle of the eighteenth century, and they reached their
greatest perfection in the early part of the nineteenth century." Two of
the illustrations are photographs of smocks in the Victoria and Albert
Museum, so their site could be worth a search; others are from county
museums, such as the Castle Museum, Nottingham.

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