Leicester

Leicestershire exhibition of children's clothes from 1600s

Archive photo of children wearing matching outfits Image copyright Leicester City Council
Image caption Many of the items have been donated to the exhibition by people in Leicestershire

Children's clothing dating back hundreds of years that was made or worn in Leicestershire has gone on display.

The items at Leicester's New Walk Museum have come out of the stores for the Dressing for Childhood exhibition.

They include a knitted baby's jacket from the 1690s and an embroidered dress worn by Prince Octavius (son of King George III) in 1782.

Collections officer Fiona Graham said the items are "rarely seen in public" because of their delicate materials.

Image copyright Leicester City Council

Part of the collection is a Kate Greenaway dress bought in Leicester department store, Marshall & Snelgrove, in the 1950s and a photo of twin sisters Winnie and Connie Newton, aged four, wearing identical coats from 1913.

Ms Graham said many of the items had been donated by Leicestershire people and were bought or made locally.

"Our children's clothing collection is rarely seen in public because textiles are so vulnerable to light exposure and can easily be damaged by poor handling and insect attack," she added.

"This exhibition is therefore a great opportunity to see the clothes and shoes children were wearing from the late 17th to the mid-20th century, and to learn how children's clothing has developed over the past 350 years.

"A lot of their clothes were just miniature versions of adult clothes. Today they are often much brighter colours and you can see the contrast from then and now."

Image copyright Leicester City Council
Image caption Many of the items have not been on display ever before

The exhibition runs until February 2020.

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