Thursday, October 11, 2012

Knit Breeches - Not That Kind!

It has come to our attention, that there is some confusion out there as to what knit breeches are.  If this is what you were thinking......


(These just aren't right for any century)

18th century knit breeches were constructed of knit fabric, silk or worsted -- knit on the type of machine used to knit stockings, similar to the ones shown below.

So now that we have that cleared up. What did knit breeches look like?  Here are two pair, the first from the collection at Colonial Williamsburg the other from the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Knit Breeches from Colonial Williamsburg

Knit Breeches -- V&A 

It's a shame we can't just pop into Samuel Eliot's store and pick up a pair. They were quite widely advertised and though black seems the most common, you could have also chosen cloth-colored,  scarlet, blue, buff, and "knit breeches of all sorts".

Massachusetts Gazette 7/4/1764
Oh - for a trip in the time machine to browse the shelves of this shop......... 

1 comment:

  1. Local knit breeches: Rev. Jonas Clarke of Lexington mentions a red pair in his private account book:

    (Heading:)1777 - The Estate of my Brother Thomas Clarke

    [...] Credit, by a pr. of red knit Breeches sold, belonging to my Brother 5/4 L. My.

    (L. My. = "lawful money")

    The account book is in the collection of the Lexington Historical Society; a typed transcript is available in the local history collection at Cary Memorial Library.