Muslin decorated with embroidered sprig motifs worked with tambour stitches. Sprigged muslin gowns were very fashionable during the Regency era, whether waisted or pulled in under the bust, often in combination with horizontally pleated skirts and hems, or with frilled details at the hems, collars, necklines or all three. In 1782, the Italian Luigi Ruffini set up a workroom near Edinburgh making tambour lace to combat the French trade embargoes. These sprigged muslins with finely embroidered motifs soon became popular throughout Europe.

‘Sprigged muslins’ also covers fabric printed on woven ground – a self coloured stripe or checked fine cotton muslin, over printed with spots, leafs, flowers – always very delicate and feminine as expected for the ladies of the time.

Embroidered lawns are still used for sheer curtains dressing tables and lampshades– the best are made in Switzerland

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