uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Skräddaren, sömmerskan och modet: Arbetsmetoder och arbetsdelning i tillverkningen av kvinnlig dräkt 1770-1830.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Tailor, the Seamstress and Fashion : Working Methods and Division of Labour in the Manufacture of Female Dress, 1770-1830. (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study in textile studies and cultural history is to gain a greater understanding of what happened to the division of labour and manufacturing techniques when female fashions changed in the period 1770-1830. This was a time of upheaval as regards fashions, and a change in dress practice. The decades around 1800 were a period of major societal and cultural transformation. Female fashions and their manufacture can be inscribed in these processes. With a more polarized perception of the sexes fashion and textile work, particularly sewing, came to be closely associated with femininity.

The empirical material comprises extant clothes, handbooks of tailoring, fashion magazines and written material from both public and private life. It has been of great significance to link the written and material sources, combining the approaches of textile studies and cultural history. Instead of proceeding from the perspective of a particular group of producers, it has been possible to study different actors on an equal basis, with material culture as the point of departure.

The first part of the thesis discusses the concept of fashion and how fashion can be understood during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In a Swedish context this is closely related to the concept of folk costume.

The second part deals with the organization of the craft and the gender division of labour. In the 1770s and 1780s, clothes for both men and women in Sweden were made by male tailors. The study argues that women who made fashion clothes for other women became frequent and officially visible during the years around 1800 in Stockholm. At the end of the 1820s the male tailors seem to be absent from the profession in the city. In an international perspective, the Swedish development differs from the situation that previous research has demonstrated in France and England. The process is interpreted in terms of demasculinization and feminization.

The third and fourth parts examine how cutting and sewing techniques were affected when fashions changed in the decades around 1800. Two traditions for the manufacture of female fashion clothes can be identified in Europe during the period. The French and English seamstresses’ technique involved simpler methods of both cutting and sewing, whereas the tailors in the German sphere showed vigorous development in both processes. The study reveals the tailors’ competence in the sphere of practical sewing, with a new image of tailoring consisting of both cutting and sewing.

Manufacturing techniques and the organization of the work mutually affected each other. The organization of the craft influenced the possibilities for technical development. The techniques used had consequences for the way the work could be organized. The differences between different manufacturing traditions problematize the image of fashion development as aesthetically and technically homogeneous.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Nordiska museets förlag , 2010. , 311 p.
, Nordiska museets handlingar, ISSN 0346-8585 ; 136
Keyword [en]
Textile studies, dress history, object-based study, cultural history, fashion, tailor, seamstress, tailoring, manufacturing techniques, tailor’s books, cutting, sewing, division of labour, gender, guilds, the diaries of Årstafrun
National Category
Art History
Research subject
Textile Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-125186ISBN: 978-91-7108-538-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-125186DiVA: diva2:318954
Public defence
2010-06-03, Gustavianum, Auditorium Minus, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-05-17 Created: 2010-05-10 Last updated: 2010-05-17Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

By organisation
Department of Art History
Art History

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 2893 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link