Cassandra’s handkerchief

Object name: Handkerchief

Object number: CHWJA:JAH150

Category: Objects

Description: Handkerchief embroidered in satin stitch with floral sprig and the initials C.A. in one corner. Worked by Jane Austen.

Made: Early nineteenth century

Context: Sewing was an extremely important part of women’s lives in the Regency era and a daily occupation. Most women would have carried out plain sewing, which was often referred to as ‘women’s work’, making and adapting their own dresses and nightwear, rugs and quilts to provide warmth in the home, and other items such as cravats and shirts for the men in the family.

Whilst plain sewing was done for necessity, other needlework crafts such as embroidery, carpet work, netting and knitting were regarded as accomplishments to be attained by elegant ladies and enabled them to reveal their creative skills.

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