NotesThis wedding gown, cape and train made by Farmer & Co, around 1880, is machine made and hand sewn featuring silk brocade which is a richly decorative shuttle woven fabric. Derived from the Italian, 'broccato' meaning 'embossed cloth', brocade fabric is typically woven on a draw loom using the supplementary weft technique of non-structural weft plus stand weft which holds the threads together so the fabric appears embroidered. Associated with luxury and opulence, clothing made from brocade fabric was an indication of status.
Farmer & Co was established as a dressmaking and millinery store in Pitt St, Sydney in 1839 by 'bounty migrants' Joseph Farmer (1814-1890) and his wife Caroline. In March 1848, William Farmer (1832-1908) arrived from England to join his uncle, Joseph, in Sydney. William was to eventually succeed Joseph and took control of the firm in partnership with William Williams and Francis Giles. During the next 40 years the Farmers collaborated with a diverse range of partners prior to becoming Farmer & Co in 1869.
Between 1928 and 1957, Farmer & Co built their new retail emporium located on the corner of George Street and Market Street. The structure included an art gallery, roof garden and restaurant. A well known landmark in Sydney's central business district, the store traded as Grace Brothers from 1983-2004 and is currently owned by Melbourne retail giant, Myer.
London Gazette, no. 26606, London, p.1455, 12 March 1895, retrieved November 2010
Seller-Baldinger, Annemarie. Textiles: A classification of techniques, Crawford House Press, Bathurst, 1994, p. 98
Walsh, G P. Farmer, Sir William (1832-1908), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol 4, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne,1972, pp. 153-154
http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/aboutsydney/documents/VisitorGuidesInformation/WalkingTours/WalkTourCommerce retrieved November 2010