V26: 18th Century Panniers – examples and ideas


I’ve been thinking about panniers lately.  Pocket hoops.  Hip padding.

For an upper class impression, it looks like a little side hoop action was still en vogue for the 1770s, so I plan to experiment with travel-able (read: small, pack down easily) options.

In the meantime, here are some examples I found:

Articulated side hoops, from Te Met
Also articulated, and very similar to those above.  These are  from 1750,  Musee des Arts Decoratifs.   Too early and too wide for my ideas, but very interesting.
From Costumes.org – a drawing showing the articulated hoop designs shown above.  
Something like this is more like it.  This is a reproduction made by the Costume Design Center at Colonial Williamsburg.
These are from 1760, so still a little early, but quite a small  hoop.  Found this image through OrnamentedBeing on Tumblr
This example from KCI dates 1775 and is quite small – seems doable.
From the V&A , a wide-ish hoop, but not deep.

I did not include pocket hoops (side “baskets”) in this post, although they are also collapsible and may be the best and easiest way to achieve the shape I would like.  There is also this example of straight up padding:

From MFA – hip pads, 18th c.

These seem pretty straight forward, but not very pocket-friendly…or suitcase friendly for that matter, as all that stuffing will take up space.

Experimental side-hoopery is to come throughout the year.  I think making several types and seeing which works best for my needs will be a good exercise, so more on this later. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • MrsC (Maryanne)

    January 26, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    The thing about pocket hoops that I know from playing with The Dreamstress's while under construction, is that with relatively little adaptation, you could have the bones be removable. They could just lie flat or bent around the bottom of your case then, and the fabric shell would fold into next to nothing. It would just require an ingenious method of making one end of each casing openable and closable. Actually, even a few overcast stitches would do it, when you get there! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lauren R

      January 27, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      Were these the pocket hoops or the more round one she made? I had wondered about the construction, with those pieces that are kindof 45 degrees set, how that works…I think they could be collapsible too…

  • Rowenna

    January 26, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    I don't know, the yellow color of the MFA hip pads make them look like the inflatable life vests you get on planes–so maybe they'd do double duty while travelling!

  • Abby

    January 26, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    The small hoops you have posted from the CDC actually do a great job of giving the right silhouette, are time appropriate, and are not overly cumbersome and awkward as the pocket hoops which are more awkward and probably will be a bit too much. They are also very small and will pack up very easily in the bottom of the case. I *highly* recommend them ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lauren R

      January 27, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      Abby, I was thinking to try this one first and see how it goes. It does seem like the easiest to travel with and wear. If I made pocket hoops they would be quite small – I want just a little hip action, nothing too pronounced. Thank you for the positive recommendation ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Unknown

    January 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Crazy how fashion has evolved, isn't it? I remember watching "The Duchess" with Kiera Knightley, wedding night scene (bless her heart), and thinking, "Holy cow, look at all those layers!" And when they finally–finally!–got to this thing. Yeesh. I'm all about comfort myself. Well. Most of the time. Like any other chic, I enjoy the occasional red pair of shoes and tight pair o' jeans. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Anonymous

    January 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Pocket hoops can be very useful when travelling as they concertina down flat, they are also quick to make! I made a pair recently for a trip to venice and they took me an hour and half from start to finish! They are also easy to size up or down depending on how 'hippy' you want to be.
    As for making the bones removable should you wish, perhaps for washing; I always make my larger hoops with removable bones by folding under each end of the channel tape by a few centimetres. the fabric should have just enough stretch to allow you to slide the bone in under the fold, and tension will hold it in place.
    Hope this helps!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lady Carolyn

    January 27, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    The hip pads if made with Styrofoam peanuts make them very light in the suitcase. My bustle improver is made with the peanuts, to that helps with that 50lb limit.

  • Skye

    November 8, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I was looking back through your articles about pocket hoops/panniers and noticed that a lot of images aren't visible. I'm wondering wether I'm the only with that problem?

    • Lauren Stowell

      November 8, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      Hi Stefanie – yes, this is because I used to bring images in from Pinterest, and the URLs don't stay the same for any great length of time, so the images. I've been going back through my old posts (there are MANY!) and trying to fix the images, but it's taking quite some time. A pain in the neck! I'm sorry about it ๐Ÿ™

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