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Edict Protecting Prussian Wool Manufacturers: No Silk Skirts or Camisoles (November 6, 1731)
This Prussian edict forbade, “after six months’ time,” all maidservants and other female commoners, Christian and Jewish, from wearing silk dresses, camisoles, or pinafores. This edict reasserted longstanding government restrictions (throughout Europe) on commoners’ indulgence in luxury goods, to which the propertied classes staked an exclusive claim. At the same time, it also functioned as a protectionist measure to favor domestic textile production in Prussia, where the silk industry not yet been established. Title page, Berlin, November 6, 1731.