Whether used to keep cool, hide behind or flirt with a fan was an essential accessory for a Victorian woman’s evening dress. As fan styles tended to follow the fashions of the day by the middle of the 19th century they had become quite large to compliment the growing crinoline dresses. Available in many different materials by the end of the century fans were often made out of the same fabric as a ladies dress. Popular decorations were printed romantic scenes harking back nostalgically to the 18th century or oriental scenes.