+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Settling in
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default Dress mantlemaker

    Can anyone tell me what this occupation is and what it involved? I have tried to google it but had no success. Is there a good website that gives descriptions of various occupations?
    TIA
    Suzanne

  2. #2
    Procat
    Guest

    Default

    Could it be Mantuamaker? This was a dressmaker. See here.

  3. #3
    joycereeves
    Guest

    Smile joycereeves

    I think a mantlemaker was the term used for a cape for going over a dress, It may have some loosely religious meanig
    as a minister asking the deceased ( religious minister ect) to give throw them there mantle
    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Very quick off the mark.
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Crete, Greece
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    27
    Thanked 44 Times in 33 Posts

    Default

    Suzanne,

    I find this site useful for old occupations

    http://rmhh.co.uk/occup/index.html

    It has this entry

    Mantua Maker A specific type of Dressmaker.

    Mantuas became stylish in the seventeenth century. A Mantua was a loose gown worn over a petticoat and open down the front. Although this standard dictionary definition brings to mind the image of a dressing gown, the Mantua was nothing of the sort. The style may have begun as a casual garment, but Mantuas were usually made of sumptuous material such as damask or brocade and worn for dressy occasions.

    A Mantua was unboned, but it wasn't unfitted. In other words, there were no stays. The construction was quite tricky. The Mantua was constructed from a single length of material, with few, if any, cuts. Our image of dressmaking is cutting out a variety of pieces from the fabric, some small, then sewing those pieces together. Mantua-making was not at all like this.

    One of the things that identifies a true Mantua is that it did not have a separate skirt and top. The material was one continuous piece from shoulder to floor. Mantuas fitted the figure, yet had a very full skirt. This was accomplished by shaping the material to the body with a series of deep, outward-facing stitched-down pleats that flared below the waistline.

    This single-piece construction with few irreversible actions meant that gowns could be altered for changes in fashion, weight, and ownership. A skilled Mantua maker could, literally, disassemble a Mantua and remake it into a new garment, saving the expensive material.

    Depending on the current style and the Mantua-maker's method of construction, the rich fabric might be longer in the back, almost forming a train. The Mantua was not closed at the front (usually just caught at the waist, sometimes belted), exposing the shirt or the lightweight petticoat, which was often of silk. This allowed interesting and attractive contrasts in colour and fabric. It also permitted more freedom of movement.

    A stomacher was often worn with a Mantua. This was an elaborate, decorated, ornamental piece, shaped in a V to help create the illusion of a slim waist.

    maggie

  5. #5
    Reputation beyond repute
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    16,129
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 2,514 Times in 2,183 Posts

    Default

    Mantle was a type of cloak. A popular description of clothes manufacturers in the 19th century was "mantle makers and costumiers" or "mantle and costume makers" etc etc. See trade directories for more examples.

  6. #6
    Loves to help with queries
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    177
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 31 Times in 28 Posts

    Default

    When I worked in a very traditional department store in the 1950s, the coats department was still called Mantles, and the dressmaking requisites, hosiery etc were called Haberdashery, known as Haby for short.

    And I'm still young and gorgeous (and delusional), so the word has been in quite recent use in its traditional sense!

    I would say the lady ancestor was a tailoress making outerwear - coats and cloaks and jackets.

  7. #7
    Settling in
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Thank you everyone for your replies. She is definitely a dress mantle maker and not a mantuamaker. I realised later that a mantle was a type of cloak worn over dresses. Her deceased husband had been a draper.
    Thanks again
    Suzanne

  8. #8
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Merseyside
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Melberry View Post
    Can anyone tell me what this occupation is and what it involved? I have tried to google it but had no success. Is there a good website that gives descriptions of various occupations?
    TIA
    Suzanne
    The term mantlemaker would denote someone who makes over garments or overcoats. A term used mainly in the ladies tailoring trade.

  9. #9
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default question

    Quote Originally Posted by Melberry View Post
    Thank you everyone for your replies. She is definitely a dress mantle maker and not a mantuamaker. I realised later that a mantle was a type of cloak worn over dresses. Her deceased husband had been a draper.
    Thanks again
    Suzanne
    Hi Suzanne,
    I am looking up a family that involved a married couple: the wife was a dress mantle saleswoman and the husband a draper. Did you find out about these two occupations? If so, would you mind forwarding to me any good sources? Thank you, Tamara

  10. #10
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Southampton UK
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I see this thread was started a very long time ago and hopefully you have already found the answer to your mystery, but I also see that no-one has mentioned another kind of mantle maker, which was a very common occupation in the time of gas lamps. So maybe my little bit of information may help anyone else who has wondered and who chances on this thread as I did. The mantle in question is a sort of flame diffuser that fits over the gas flame in a lamp to make it burn bright, and would, from time to time, need replacing in the lamps. The mantles are made with woven thread knitted into a sort of net then dipped in nitrates and heated. The cotton then burns away whilst the nitrates become nitrites, which fuse together to form a solid mesh. Given the widespread use of gas for lighting, many people were employed in their manufacture. It's not quite as romantic as seamstress 'cloak making', but is a lot more common and quite often turns out to be what it is that your ancestor did. The thorium used in manufacture is radioactive so this was quite a hazardous occupation in days gone by, although that was of course, unrecognized at the time.

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Select a file: