Lace Tuckers, or What Exactly is That Thing?

12/11/2017

When I started analyzing the portrait of Marie-Louise for my reproduction, I spotted something that I was unsure of. Around the neckline of the dress I noticed what I could only assume was a fancy chemise, so I started researching to fine out exactly what it was.

Details of the portrait of Queen Marie-Louise of Belgium. C. 1841

I wasn't able to find anything on fancy chemise's and eventually I posted my question on a sewing group on Facebook. Turns out, it's not a chemise, but an accessory called a tucker, which would be stitched straight into the dress, or in some cases be pinned into the dress instead.

A tucker would sometimes be unseen by being attached below the neckline, but in many cases they were shown. They had a drawstring around the neckline which would be tied to keep the neckline from gaping, and were often made of fine lace.

Below are some inspiration and examples of tuckers.

Portrait of Queen Victoria c. 1861. Via the Royal Collection Trust

Silk Gown C. 1865. Via

Portrait c. 1863. Via

Tucker's were most common during the mid 19th century, the 1850's and 60's particularly, due to the fashions of that time. However, tuckers can be seen throughout the 19th century and even into the early 20th century.

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1 comments

  1. On my 1860's plaid gown, I wanted an invisible one (the fabric was cream and green, and you can only really find tuckers in black and white. CREAM AND WHITE DON'T GO TOGETHER!!!), so I turned the piping binding on my neckline into one by threading a ribbon through it. The whole point of a tucker is to fix gapiness, which wasn't neccesarily happening in my dress, it just caused weird wrinkles at the base of the pointed neckline. It was a total flop, definitely use a seperate piece.

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