Baby Linen


How to Make a Basic Essential Layette
for Eighteenth Century Re-enactor Infants

Some Sources, Cited and/or Useful, on the Subject of 18th Century Baby-Linen

Baumgarten, Linda, What Clothes Reveal, The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Willamsburg VA 2002

Buck, Anne. Clothes and the Child, Holmes & Meier NY 1996

Burnham, Dorothy K., Cut My Cote, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario, 1973

Burnston, Sharon Ann, Fitting and Proper, Eighteenth Century Clothing from the Collection of the Chester County Historical Society, Scurlock Publishing Co. Texarkana TX 1998

Burnston, Sharon Ann, "Portraying the 18th Century Baby & Child" Muzzleloader v. XXX # 6 January/February 2004, Pp. 49-53

Burnston, Sharon Ann, For Good Measure, Eighteenth Century Clothing from the Collection of Historic New England, [unpublished, in progress. . . ]

Calvert, Karin. Children in the House, The Material Culture of Early Childhood, 1600-1900, Northeastern University Press, Boston 1992.

Cunnington, Phyllis, & Anne Buck, Children’s Costume in England 1300-1900, Barnes & Noble Inc. NY 1965

Glasse, Hannah, The Servant’s Directory, Improved; or, House-Keeper’s Companion, J. Potts, Dublin, 1762 [facsimile]

Kevill-Davies, Sally, Yesterday’s Children, The Antiques and History of Childcare, Antique Collector’s Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk 1991

"A Lady", The Lady’s Economical Assistant, or The Art of Cutting Out, and Making the Most Useful Articles of Wearing Apparel, 1808, reprinted Kannik’s Korner, Springfield OH 1998.

"A Lady", The Workwoman’s Guide, Simpkin, Marshall & co. London 1838, reprinted Opus Publications, Guilford CT 1986

Museum of American Folk Art [exhibit] Small Folk, A Celebration of Childhood in America, Museum of American Folk Art and New York Historical Society, 1980-81

Philadelphia Museum of Art [exhibit, no catalog] Children’s Clothing: 1760-1980, November 8, 1980 -April 5, 1981, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia PA

Rose, Clare, Children’s Clothes Since 1750, Drama Books Publishers NY 1989

Swan, Susan Burrows, Plain and Fancy, American Women and Their Needlework 1700-1850, Holt Rinehart & Winston, NY 1977

and a special thank you to Colleen Humphreys and Christina Neitz for sharing the benefits of their invaluable real-world 18th century re-enacting-mom experience!

© Sharon Ann Burnston 2005,
pattern diagrams may be copied for personal use,
all other rights reserved


  1. Cap
  2. Diaper, known in the period as "napkin" or "clout"
  3. Pilch or Pilcher, a diaper-cover
  4. Shirt
  5. Petticoat
  6. Roller, swaddling-band, belly-band, or "surcingle"
  7. Bed gown or robe
  8. Bib, also Drool cloth, burp cloth, the "muckinder"
  9. Stockings, Shoes, Booties
  10. Baby sling, baby carrier
  11. Blanket, basket, bedding
  12. Final Reminder


    Baby Swaddling Photo Series
    Baby Gown Photo Series


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