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Women wearing Crinolines from the 19th Century

Crinolines are stiff or structured petticoats designed to hold out a woman’s skirt, popular since the mid-19th Century. Crinoline was initially referred to as a stiff fabric made of horsehair (“crin”) and cotton or linen used for underskirts and dress linings. In the 21st Century, crin or crinoline remains the term used to describe nylon stiffening tape for interfacing and lining hemlines.

By the 1850s, crinolines were more often used to describe horsehair petticoats and hoop skirts that replaced horsehair petticoats. Like farthingales and panniers of the 16th and 17th centuries, these hoop skirts allowed skirts to spread even wider and more thoroughly. In April 1856, R.C. Milliet patented a steel-hooped cage crinoline in Paris, and their British agent patented it a few months later. Thousands of steel cage crinolines were mass-produced every year in factories across the Western world. Steel was the most common material for hoops, but alternatives like whalebone, cane and gutta-percha were also used. By the late 1860s, crinolines were starting to shrink in size, and they could reach a circumference of six yards at their widest point.

In the Western world, women of every social standing and class wore crinolines, from royalty to factory workers. Wearing them without due care could be hazardous. Thousands of women died in the mid-19th Century from hooping skirts catching fire. Other hazards included hoops caught in machinery, carriage wheels, wind gusts, or other obstacles.

Here are some elegant photos showing young ladies wearing crinolines in the mid-19th Century.

#1 M ditation, 1860s.

M ditation, 1860s.

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#2 Cauchoise, 1860s.

Cauchoise, 1860s.

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#3 L’Interrogation, 1860s

L'Interrogation, 1860s

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#4 Moir’s dress, 1860s.

Moir's dress, 1860s.

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#5 The Velvet Case, 1860s.

The Velvet Case, 1860s.

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#6 Livetta, 1860s.

Livetta, 1860s.

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#7 The pleated bathrobe, 1860s.

The pleated bathrobe, 1860s.

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#8 A woman wearing the extremely full-skirted fashion of the 1860s, which relied on hoops and crinolines under the dress, 1860

A woman wearing the extremely full-skirted fashion of the 1860s, which relied on hoops and crinolines under the dress, 1860

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#9 A woman wearing the extremely full-skirted fashion of the 1860s, which relied on hoops and crinolines under the dress, 1860

A woman wearing the extremely full-skirted fashion of the 1860s, which relied on hoops and crinolines under the dress, 1860

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#10 A woman wearing the extremely full-skirted fashion which relied on hoops and crinolines under the dress, 1860

A woman wearing the extremely full-skirted fashion which relied on hoops and crinolines under the dress, 1860

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#11 Alexandrina Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1860

Alexandrina Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1860

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#12 Woman with a crinoline dress, 1860

Woman with a crinoline dress, 1860

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#13 nne Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (1829 – 1888), Duchess of Sutherland in a crinoline dress and velvet cape with astrakhan trim, 1860.

nne Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (1829 - 1888), Duchess of Sutherland in a crinoline dress and velvet cape with astrakhan trim, 1860.

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#14 A woman wearing a crinoline, typical dress of the mid 1800’s, reads a letter in a garden setting, 1860

A woman wearing a crinoline, typical dress of the mid 1800's, reads a letter in a garden setting, 1860

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#15 Mathilde, Duchess of Wurttemberg, daughter of Prince George of Schaumburg-Lippe, 1860

Mathilde, Duchess of Wurttemberg, daughter of Prince George of Schaumburg-Lippe, 1860

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#16 Marie, Princess of Prussia, the wife of Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia. She was born Marie of Anhalt, 1860

Marie, Princess of Prussia, the wife of Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia. She was born Marie of Anhalt, 1860

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#17 A Victorian family in the garden, 1860

A Victorian family in the garden, 1860

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#18 The scene from a ladies dressing room, preparing for the crinoline, 1860

The scene from a ladies dressing room, preparing for the crinoline, 1860

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#19 English poetess Caroline Stirling Maxwell (1808 – 1877), 1860

English poetess Caroline Stirling Maxwell (1808 - 1877), 1860

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#20 A victorian woman wearing a hooped dress with an eye mask and fingerless gloves, 1860

A victorian woman wearing a hooped dress with an eye mask and fingerless gloves, 1860

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#21 A young woman waits patiently whilst the hoops to support her crinoline are prepared, 1860

A young woman waits patiently whilst the hoops to support her crinoline are prepared, 1860

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#22 A woman wearing a crinoline being dressed with the aid of long poles to lift her dress over the hoops.

A woman wearing a crinoline being dressed with the aid of long poles to lift her dress over the hoops.

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#23 A woman wearing a crinoline being dressed with the aid of long poles to lift her dress over the hoops.

A woman wearing a crinoline being dressed with the aid of long poles to lift her dress over the hoops.

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#24 Lady Campbell, 1861

Lady Campbell, 1861

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#25 The Viscountess Canning, Barrackpore, 1858.

The Viscountess Canning, Barrackpore, 1858.

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#26 Madame Carrelle wearing embroidered dress with fitted bodice and lace sleeves, 1860

Madame Carrelle wearing embroidered dress with fitted bodice and lace sleeves, 1860

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#27 The Gaze, 1856

The Gaze, 1856

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#28 The armrest, 1857

The armrest, 1857

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#29 Isabella II, Queen of Spain, embroidering a shawl.

Isabella II, Queen of Spain, embroidering a shawl.

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#30 Empress of Austria, Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie (1837 – 1898), wearing a crinoline dress, 1854

Empress of Austria, Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie (1837 - 1898), wearing a crinoline dress, 1854

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#31 Marie Antoine, geb. Woes, 1850s

Marie Antoine, geb. Woes, 1850s

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#32 Frau Hofrat Josefine Raymond, 1850s

Frau Hofrat Josefine Raymond, 1850s

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#33 Three Women in crinolines and men in a Garden, 1850

Three Women in crinolines and men in a Garden, 1850

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#34 Two Girls in crinoline, 1860

Two Girls in crinoline, 1860

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#35 Mathias and Elise Hoeusermann, 1860s

Mathias and Elise Hoeusermann, 1860s

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#36 Victorian woman in a bonnet and checked skirt, with a book in one hand, 1860

Victorian woman in a bonnet and checked skirt, with a book in one hand, 1860

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#37 The woman carries a feathered hat and a piece of striped fabric, possibly a shawl. She wears a monocle or pince-nez at her waist, 1856

The woman carries a feathered hat and a piece of striped fabric, possibly a shawl. She wears a monocle or pince-nez at her waist, 1856

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#38 Carte-de-visite by Mayall of Queen Victoria (1819-1867) in crinolines, 1861

Carte-de-visite by Mayall of Queen Victoria (1819-1867) in crinolines, 1861

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#39 Standing with a Rosary, 1861

Standing with a Rosary, 1861

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#40 La Comtesse at Table Holding Fan, 1860s

La Comtesse at Table Holding Fan, 1860s

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#41 La Robe Bouffante, 1860s

La Robe Bouffante, 1860s

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#42 The Taffeta Dress, 1860

The Taffeta Dress, 1860

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#43 The Red Knot, 1860

The Red Knot, 1860

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#44 Derelitta, 1860s

Derelitta, 1860s

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#45 Bal, 1860s.

Bal, 1860s.

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#46 The Psych, 1860

The Psych, 1860

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#47 The Beautiful Arm, 1860

The Beautiful Arm, 1860

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#48 Moir’s dress, 1860s.

Moir's dress, 1860s.

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#49 Mir s eyes, 1860s.

Mir s eyes, 1860s.

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#50 The Coup Ribbons, 1860s.

The Coup Ribbons, 1860s.

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#51 A young girl and an older woman in Victorian knickerbockers and full skirts, 1860

A young girl and an older woman in Victorian knickerbockers and full skirts, 1860

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#52 Crinoline festival of the Berlin Secession,

Crinoline festival of the Berlin Secession,

Mrs. Breger and Mrs. Stutz in costumes at the crinoline festival of the Berlin Secession

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#53 Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, dressed for his inauguration, 1861

Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, dressed for his inauguration, 1861

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#54 The Countess Canning, Simla, 1861.

The Countess Canning, Simla, 1861.

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#55 Carlotta, Empress of Mexico (1840 – 1927), born Princess Charlotte of Belgium, the daughter of Leopold I, King of Belgium from 1831.

Carlotta, Empress of Mexico (1840 - 1927), born Princess Charlotte of Belgium, the daughter of Leopold I, King of Belgium from 1831.

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#56 Miss Maffei, 1860s

Miss Maffei, 1860s

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#57 Empress Eugenie, 1860.

Empress Eugenie, 1860.

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#58 La Comtesse Seated with Fan, 1860s

La Comtesse Seated with Fan, 1860s

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#59 Photographic Study, 1860s

Photographic Study, 1860s

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#60 The Puffy Dress and Crinoline, 1860s.

The Puffy Dress and Crinoline, 1860s.

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#61 Derelitta in Crinoline, 1860

Derelitta in Crinoline, 1860

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#62 Le Caracul (Lastrakhan) in Crinoline, 1860s

Le Caracul (Lastrakhan) in Crinoline, 1860s

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#63 Le Caracul (L’Astrakhan), 1860s.

Le Caracul (L'Astrakhan), 1860s.

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#64 Les beau d collet, 1860s.

Les beau d collet, 1860s.

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Written by Alicia Linn

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet....... I’ve never been able to figure out what would i write about myself.

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