First introduced to Europe during the Renaissance, parasols protected Italian aristocracy from the elements. Often carried by servants, the first parasols were heavy and quite rudimentary. In Asia, the parasol was reserved for the great men of the land. Most of the parasols were made of lighter materials like silk, paper and cotton while some were made of leather.
By the 1860s, parasols had become a fashion staple in Victorian society. They had become standardized and affordable, allowing even the middle class women to partake in carrying a parasol. However, only the wealthy used a parasol day to day. During the era, parasols were made of fine fabrics like chiffon, silk, taffeta or satin. They were often decorated with fringe, lace and intricate embroidery. Due to the extravagancy of the era, parasols became quite intricate. Handles on the most elegant parasols were made of hand carved ivory and inlaid with jewels and gold. Queen Victoria had quite a fascinating parasol herself. After an assassination attempt, she had a parasol lined in chainmail to protect her from future attacks.
While we don't carry chainmail parasols, our collection is diverse and beautiful. Our parasols are perfect for keeping the sun off your face during the warmer months. Available in black, white and cream, our parasols are a great addition to any Victorian ensemble. Complete your look with our myriad of other accessories including: shoes, stockings and gloves.