Object: Silk Cloth - Silk Ribbons

Image Credits

Portrait of a Couple, Probably Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen, Frans Hals, c. 1622, Rijksmuseum

Object Type(s)

Silk cloth, Silk bombazine, silk ribbons were all luxury items that were brought into New Amsterdam for trade or personal use.   An import duty had to be paid on much of this kind of goods as you can see from this document:  https://encyclopedia.nahc-mapping.org/document/petition-hendrick-van-der-walle-permission-pay-duties-certain-articles

Black bombazine was particularly expensive, used for mourning clothing or very important dress clothing.   It was soft, durable, and had a sheen without being too shiny, thus considered to be in 'good taste'.   In the painting here the man's suit and the woman's skirt  both  appear to be made of black bombazine. 

There was a big effort to begin silk production in New Netherland, with many documents noting a request for Mulberry trees and silk worms.   



This was not ultimately successful.