Welsh costume doll fabrics

It is possible that the fabrics used for the costumes on many of the dolls studied as part of the Welsh costume doll project are the oldest surviving woollen fabrics made in Wales, and that many of them are similar to those used in adult costumes. Indeed, they may be remnants left over from making adult costumes.

A very detailed analysis of the fabrics was made as part of the project. The reports for each doll are on this site.

Many of the fabrics were linsey-wolsey (cotton or linen warp and wool weft). In general, the colour and pattern, and often the type of fabric has specific uses. For example, the gowns are generally dark blue and red striped linsey-wolsey flannel; bedgowns are often cotton; skirts and  sometimes underskirts are bright striped flannels; aprons are checks of natural colours, or with some blue. However, with dolls, some of the fabrics werre used for garments which would not have been used for similar adult garments.

The detailed descriptions of the fabrics on each doll include:

  • construction (e.g. flannel, woven cottons, etc)
  • measurements (of pattern repeats)
  • pattern (e.g. plain; check; striped, warp or weft
  • techniques (e.g. woven; plain, twill)
  • thread count ends/wales per cm
  • thread count picks / rows per cm
  • twist of warp and weft (S or Z)
  • fibres (wool, cotton, linen, silk)
  • colours
  • finish (fulled, raised)

There are illustrated pages on the following doll’s garments: