The Heritage of the Pelerine

Modish and refined ladies of the 1700s and the 1800s would dress in the most wonderful dresses and apparel things conceivable. Just one of them is the pelerine, something which is very not often worn today, commonly among the Roman Catholic clergy. Most persons these days might in all probability never even have just witnessed, browse, or heard of it. That is, till now that you have stumbled upon this report.

an illustration of women wearing pelerines

The pelerine underwent a lot of types and iterations, but it mainly implies a cape that is worn more than the shoulders. The term “pelerine” arrives from the French phrase pèlerine, which usually means “pilgrim.” The origin may well be most likely derived from the smaller capes worn by gals portrayed in the Pilgrimage to Cythera (or The Embarkation for Cythera), a 1717 painting by French artist Jean-Antoine Watteau. 

The time period “pelerine” may well also have been originated from the Italian term pellegrina, a sort of cloak commonly worn by Christian pilgrims.

The Embarkation for Cythera painting
The Embarkation for Cythera, from in which the pelerine may well have been motivated

Pelerines took a lot of models and variants from the top of their reputation as just one of the fashion trends in the 1800s to their decline in the 1900s. As a end result, they arrived to outline in a different way, by era:

  • From 1740 to the stop of the 18th century – A shorter cape that usually has pendant finishes on the front, often crosses about the bosom, is handed all around the midsection and is tied behind.
  • 19th century – A collar that resembles a cape. But from 1825 onwards, the pelerine went back again to its primary 18th-century type. Pelerines at the time had been mostly manufactured of light-weight fabrics, these kinds of as muslin or cambric, and have been richly embroidered or decorated with lace. Some pelerines had been also produced of silk. Apart from embroidery, pelerines for the duration of this era were being also embellished with ruffles, beadwork, and even serious feathers.
  • Early 20th century – Pelerines in the course of this time were slipping fully above the shoulders and have been especially popular throughout the 1900s. They experienced develop into significantly less official and have been typically worn at dwelling.
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Pope John Paul II holding a koala
Pope John Paul II, keeping a koala in his 1986 Australia pay a visit to, donning a white pellegrina

Pellegrina – the ecclesiastical “pelerine”

Let us go back again to the pelerine’s probable Italian origin, the pellegrina. It is a cape-like merchandise worn similarly to the stylish pelerine. The pellegina is ordinarily worn by some Roman Catholic ecclesiastics.

The pellegrina usually has an opening in the front. The shut edition of the pellegrina is called mozzetta.

The a lot of variations of pelerine

white pelerine
A muslin pelerine from the 1830s with whitework embroidery, demonstrated unfastened and unsupported
a purple silk pelerine
A purple silk pelerine from the 1830s
a young girl’s dress with pelerine
A youthful girl’s silk gown with matching pelerine from 1869
cream silk pelerine
A product silk pelerine from 1872
dark blue feather pelerine
Dark blue pelerine manufactured of down from the marabou stork, with dim blue synthetic silk lining. It is identified as “Maison de Bonneterie”