The power of textiles is very evident in this exhibition called 'Threads of Feeling' (14th October 2010-6th March 2011) an exhibition illustrating the story of abandoned babies left at the Foundling Hospital, London, the first home for abandoned children.
Between 1741 and 1759 any children that were admitted to the hospital were left with a token, often a small scrap of fabric which identified them with the mother. The scraps of fabric were cut from mothers dresses and put in a ledger so that hopefully children and their mothers could be reunited with in the future.
"The textiles are both beautiful and poignant, embedded in a rich social history. Each swatch reflects the life of a single infant child. But the textiles also tell us about the clothes their mothers wore, because baby clothes were usually made up from worn-out adult clothing. The fabrics reveal how working women struggled to be fashionable in the 18th Century.” John Styles.
As part of the exhibition Sarah Easom and London Printworks Trust have have recreated an eighteenth century bedgown based on the design of one of the samples, Florella which will be on display during the exhibition. (thanks)