Hoopskirt. An article of feminine apparel evolved from the farthingale of the sixteenth century. The ancient farthingales were made of hoops of whalebone run into a cloth foundation. When first began to be worn they were of modest dimensions, but increased in size in 1610 until they were immense and ridiculous. They reached such a degree of inconvenience that the King of France forbid the women of his realm to wear farthingales more than an ell and a half in circumference, but this edict only had the effect of causing the dimensions to increase more and more. Finally in 1675 the fashion died out. Hoopskirts next came into feminine favor in the form of bell-shaped skirts, which were enormously expanded by wire hoops fastened at certain intervals upon the skirt. The time of its greatest extravagance was from 1750 to 1800, and continued with intermissions until about 1820. Then there was a cessation and hoopskirts slumbered until 1852, when they were again revived in the form of crinoline petticoats. For "crinolines" were soon substituted hoops composed at first of rattan, but afterwards of flat flexible steel wire, which at times were nearly as large as those of a century earlier. These went out of use again in 1870, but since 1880 have appeared spasmodically in the form of tilters or hoops at different periods. [See Crinoline]