The Dictionary of Fashion History Cover Image

The Dictionary of Fashion History

Valerie Cumming, C. W. Cunnington and P. E. Cunnington


Table of contents

  • Cage petticoat, cage crinoline, artificial crinoline

Cage petticoat, cage crinoline, artificial crinoline

Dictionary entry

Page: 37

(F)

Period: 1856–1868.

A structure composed of hoops, at first of whalebone but after 1857 of wire or watch-spring, joined together at intervals by vertical bands of tape or braid. The hoops increased in size from the waistband down, forming a dome-shaped petticoat resembling a cage, to be worn under a wide skirt to distend it to the required size. The cage was tied round the waist in front and below the ties a short gap in the hoops enabled the cage to be put on. The number of hoops, their size and shape varied. At first dome-shaped, becoming by 1860 pyramidal; by 1866 the front was flattened with the main projection behind; by 1868 the cage shrank and became the crinolette.