Tuesday, August 6, 2019


In preparation for our upcoming “Mourning Col. Stephenson” exhibit in October at the 1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson House (Edwardsville, IL), I offer the following insight regarding cuffs worn during mourning from The Workwoman’s Guide published in 1838, page 76.

[One nail =  2  1/4” ]


PLATE 10  
FIG. 22

This is a neat cuff to lay on the dress, and is either made of plain net, of lace, or of muslin, with or without edging, and sometimes of satin ribbon. If for mourning, the net should have a broad hem. It is gathered and sewed into a band about one nail [ 2 1/4”] deep, and three or three and a half wide, according to the size of the wrist. There should be two pearl button set on one end, and buttonholes made to correspond.

FIG. 26

A cuff worn in deep mourning, especially by widows, and made wither of clear muslin or black crape. It consists of fold lying upon fold, and is either sewed upon the sleeve or made to slip over the hand. The folds are four or five in number, and lie just one above the other, each being about a quarter of a nail  [ 2 1/4”] deep.

FIG. 28

This is a neat simple little cuff. It is well adapted for mourning. Cut two pieces of muslin, net, lawn, or    cambric, of two nails square, and hem each round with a broad hem; sew the two together to the depth of about one nail [ 2  1/4”]; the parts sewed together form a sort of band inside, while the others, being unattached, fall backwards over the sleeve.

FIG 29
A simple plain, mourning cuff, with a brad hem above and below. The cuff to be about two nails [4.5”] deep, and three and a half or four nails [9”] long, according to the size of the wrist.

The parlor of the 1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson as it appears in October during the "Mourning Col Stephenson" exhibit.