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Scarf Sample (France)

This is a Scarf sample. It is dated mid-19th century and we acquired it in 1981. Its medium is silk and its technique is printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

In 1856, 18-year-old chemist William Henry Perkin accidentally discovered the first synthetic dye while searching for a treatment for malaria. His experiment failed but left behind an oily residue that stained silk a brilliant purple he called mauvine. Synthetic purple dyes soon took the fashion world by storm.

This object was donated by Barbara Rogoff. It is credited Gift of Barbara Rogoff.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 40.5 x 44 cm (15 15/16 x 17 5/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Scarf Sample (France); silk; H x W: 40.5 x 44 cm (15 15/16 x 17 5/16 in.); Gift of Barbara Rogoff; 1981-1-23

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Scarf Sample (France) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 May 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>