These days, we don gloves. But, in the past, when the temperatures fell and the cold winds started blowing, fashionable ladies (and men) would wear muffs to keep their dainty little fingers warm. Muffs were made of fox, ermine or mink fur, or of shirred silk that was then lined with flannel or satin and padded liberally, or even of feathers, usually of swans. They could also be dyed in different colours or decorated with embroidery.
When they first became popular, in the early 18th century, muffs were small and cozy, but overtime, their size increased, until it almost reached the knees! What started as a practical fashion accessory became a very cumbersome thing to carry around with you! With your muffs, you could go anywhere. You could use them to go for a walk, to the opera, or even just to warm your hands in your cold sitting room.