Nineteenth-century settlers to Aotearoa New Zealand brought their ingrained customs and mores, fashions and etiquette patterns about dress with them, along with as many wardrobe items as they could cram into their trunks. Colonial New Zealand was predominantly an English-speaking working settlers’ society, attracting those who thought they could improve their economic and social position in a new society. The cottons and blends may have been used for work or housework dresses, but little material or pictorial evidence for these exists in New Zealand. The early supply of tailors and dressmakers and their equipment also came mostly from Britain. Spinning and weaving equipment and skilled labour for the first woollen mill in the country came from England and Scotland. Early European settlers in New Zealand obtained their clothing materials and couturial information via the ‘web of empire’, with Britain acting as a ‘significant and powerful node’.