top of page


The "Cinoline" fabric became a "Hoop Crinoline"

as fashion designers dictated to the fashion world of the 1860's a way to accentuate the skirts of women's day dresses and ball gowns. Using whale boning and later steel from the iron mines of the North.

"Crin" is a Latin word meaning "hair". (usually horse hai

"Lin" is a French word meaning "flax". (the plant where linen comes from)

There were many variations to crinolines, hoops and the petticotes that went over them.

Crinoline / Petticote


Eliptical Cage Crinoline







The name crinoline was invented by a fabric manufacturers, who combined the Latin words crinis (meaning "hair") and the French word, lin(meaning "flax"). An alternative origin for the word is sometimes given: the combination of the Latin and French words crin (specifically meaning "horse-hair") and lin (again, meaning "flax").

The "fabric" of Crinoline being produced around 1830.

By 1850 the "word" Crinoline had come to be talked about to mean a stiffened Petticoat, or rigid skirt shaped structure made of steel . This structure would support the skirts of a dress into the "required" shape.

Crinoline was originally a stiff fabric with a weft of horse-hair and a warp of cotton or linen thread.

Petticoats starched for extra stiffness were the first Crinolines. The new petticoats or Crinoline was made out of the new crinoline fabric. Adorned with ruffles to support the skirts to the desired width. Extra rigidity was added to petticoats through rings of cord or braid running around the hem. By the 1830s, women had started to wear petticoats with strips of whalebone or cane inside the hem. In 1846 David Hough, Jr patented the first hoop skirt in the United States (patent US4584).

August 1856

In 1858, IRJ Mann's patent the first latticework of strings and hoops in the United States

In 1858, the American W.S. Thomson developed the cage crinoline by using eyelet fasteners to connect the steel crinoline hoops with the vertical tapes descending from a band around the wearer's waist.

The invention was patented in the United States (patent US21581), France (patent FR41193) and Britain (patent GB1204/1859).

With another innovation, Ellen Curtis Demorest designed the Imperial Dress- Elevator.

Weighted strings to raise or lower the skirt at will to help keep clear of dirty boardwalks.

Cage Crinoline, 1860's

The cage crinoline was adopted with enthusiasm: the numerous petticoats, even the stiffened or hooped ones, were heavy, bulky and generally uncomfortable, while the crinoline was light it only required one or two petticoats worn over top to prevent the steel bands appearing as ridges in the skirt and freed the wearer's legs from tangling petticoats.

The crinoline had grown to its maximum dimensions by 1860, but fell from favor a few years later.

By 1864, it had begun to change from dome-shaped to flattened front and sides, leaving volume only at the back.

This kind of crinoline was sometimes known as a crinolette.

The cage structure was still attached around the waist to the ground, but only extended down the back of the wearer's legs.

By 1867 the Crinoline or Crinolette itself became out of fashion and was quickly replaced by the bustle,

which would be used to support the cloth drapery and train at the back of the skirt.

Today Crinolines look like these with our modern fabrics and bonning's and wire's. However, the effect is still the same.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page