Amy Clarke's swimsuit

Contributed by: The Oaks Historical Society

Amy Clarke's swimsuit Belt detail Amy Clarke's swimsuit showing undergarment Back detail
  • Australian dress register ID:

  • Owner:

    The Oaks Historical Society
  • Owner registration number:

  • Date range:

    1930 - 1935
  • Place of origin:

    Murrumbateman, New South Wales, Australia
  • Gender:

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Object information

Significance statement

The Clarke Family of Murrumbateman were considered innovators in the development and production of superfine wool.

Wollondilly residents, Jim and Judy Rudd, donated 4 items owned and or made by Amy Florence Mary Clarke. Amy's talents were varied as those of a pioneering family often were known to be. She excelled in dressmaking, crochet, embroidery, cooking, preserving, gardening and was a master at recycling. Amy's parents died when she was young and she was raised by her maternal grandparents, William and Mary Lawton.

Amy was born on 17th October, 1908 and died at Yass on 13th December, 2007. She married Donald Neville Clarke in 1939. Amy was generous in her service to the community; often utilising her talents in dressmaking, craftwork and cooking. She was a Patron of the Yass District Hospital Auxillary and a Life member of the Yass Show Society.

Author: Sue Davis taken from Pam Browne notes., 02/12/2011.


Double faced knitted wool (superfine?)

Striped beige and black one piece over attached black knitted wool pant which gives modesty skirt.

High neck with plastic rings that hold plaited beige and black strap that comes from side back crossed at back through loops and fastened with 2 nickel hooks and eyes at back of neck.

Centre front and back seams chevroned.

Waist loops (black wool) at each side that hold plaited belt (made from same coloured beige and black).

Elastic is scooped back to hold in place and cord used to adjust to fit.

Note: Most likely commercially made because-

1. Very industrial knitted stitches.

2. Trim(strap and belt) absolutely matched in colour. This suggests a manufactured garment as it is unlikely a home maker would be able to access knitted fabric and trims in same wool.

3. Two different types of knitting machines have been used ie it is not hand knitted.

History and Provenance

Do you have any stories or community information associated with this?

Fine quality wool in garment possibly reflecting family contact with the wool industry.

How does this garment relate to the wider historical context?

Wool history - family sheep property - producers of superfine wool.

Where did this information come from?

Research by Pam Browne with Yass Historical Society.

This garment has been exhibited

Yes. Exhibition "Faces and Places" at Wollondilly Heritage Centre, The Oaks. August 2010 - December 2011.

  1. Place of origin:

    Murrumbateman, New South Wales, Australia

  2. Cost:


  3. Owned by:

    Amy Clarke (nee Jones)

  4. Worn by:

    Amy Clarke (nee Jones)

  5. Occasion(s):


  6. Made by:

    Commercial manufacturer.

  7. Made for:

    Limited mass production.

Trimmings / Decoration

Rings on upper front and plaited belt.

Fibre / Weave

Wool - double knit jersey.

  1. Natural dye
  2. Synthetic dye


Knitted woollen fabric is machine stitched


By hand: skirt hem altered; crutch darned; back hem between straps has been altered.

  1. Hand sewn
  2. Machine sewn
  3. Knitted
  4. Other


Top bias and pants straight.

  1. Bias
  2. Straight


Hook and eye to fasten neck; drawstring at centre back.

  1. Hook and eye
  2. Lacing
  3. Buttons
  4. Zip
  5. Drawstring


Chest 580 mm
Waist 560 mm
Hip 700 mm
Hem circumference 830 mm
Front neck to hem 610 mm
Front waist to hem 360 mm
Back neck to hem 450 mm
Back waist to hem 420 mm
Inside leg 85 mm
Outside leg 305 mm
Cross back 280 mm
Convert to inches

Additional material

Other related objects

bags,home made brassieres, fox fur


Tab that holds ring has pulled away with stitching.

Evidence of repairs

Darn in crutch; some holes on centre back, back and front hem and back edge.

Insect damage

2 moth holes on back


  1. Excellent
  2. Good
  3. Fair
  4. Poor


  1. Holes
  2. Worn
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