Few clothing items have survived since the 1600s, but one was preserved deep in the Wadden Sea. The dress was found at the Palmwood Wreck of the coast of the Netherlands.
The Museum Kaap Skil is now in possession of the dress, which is on display in the Netherlands.
The dress is made of silk satin and decorated with a woven floral motif, the museum said. Its materials were only worn by those in the highest social classes and the very wealthy. It would have been suitable for most everyday occurrences, the museum said.
It is believed that the now cream, red and brown colored dress was of a single color in its original form.
“The precious garment is still in surprisingly good condition despite having lain for almost four centuries on the seabed. It is a unique find worldwide; hardly any clothing from the seventeenth century has been preserved. Scientists expect to need years to answer all the questions that the dress has raised,” the Museum Kaap Skil said.
The dress is now displayed in an oxygen-free case that will help preserve it.
Although nearly 400 years old, it is not the only garment that has survived for centuries.
The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists reports that a dress from Egypt’s first Dynasty from approximately 5,000 years ago has survived. Additionally, 3,000-year-old pants have been discovered in a tomb in China.