This is a double-cloth coverlet, woven in two panels on a Jacquard loom. The yarn is 2-ply wool in its natural cream color, indigo blue and (I believe) madder red. The colors are beautiful considering this blanket is at least 150 years old!
Each panel is 40 inches wide, and the coverlet is 72 inches long, but the top border is missing. The sett is 16 ends per inch in each layer, so a total of 32 epi.
Coverlets like this one would have been made by professional weavers, with handspun wool brought in by the customer. This one has a few little eccentricities.
This coverlet is is not signed, so I can’t be sure of its age. The first Jacquard loom was brought to this country in 1824, but I don’t know how long coverlets like this were in style. I do know it is not rare – there are several similar to it in the book Weaving A Legacy: The Don and Jean Stuck Coverlet Collection.
For more images and information on Jacquard looms and coverlets, this is a nice page from Duke University.
I’m not a weaver, but am always fascinated by the intricacies of the designs of these old coverlets and similar. My Greek grandmother was a weaver… she grew and spun cotton and wove all manner of things. I am fortunate enough to have one of her rugs, very colourful. I’m looking forward to soon being able to get it out of storage so I can display it.
Thank you for all your very interesting posts.
So glad you like the posts!
In 2007, I got to go to Greece on very short notice – I went into one little antique shop that had some traditional textiles for sale. I loved them but I couldn’t decide, and I knew I had so many textiles at home already, so I didn’t get any! If I ever get to go back, I will remedy that mistake!
You are so lucky to have one of your grandmother’s rugs – what a treasure!
I always wonder how finished printed fabrics happen, I love the insight you give me into the people behind the loom! Especially because you are able to personalize it so nicely 🙂
Thanks! I am still learning so much myself!
That was a beautiful post!! I would like to nominate you for the Super-Sweet blogging award!!
Here’s the link!! http://hearingwiththeeye.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/another-award/
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Hi. I came across a framed item that struck me. Such a beautiful very old woven bedspread. I was shocked to see you have the exact same you said it looked to have been missing a part of it? Maybe this is that part. I found this in a goodwill outside phoenix, Arizona. I’ve not removed it from frame but there are 2 messages on it . It does explain that it was reversible and made from the McClellan sheep it’s hand woven and a professional did the work it’s dated 1843. The other message said “to Tom and Betty; this is in remembrance of your stay here in Denver. From Marion and Harry 1956. I don’t want to take it out of frame so I’m not sure of the length or size . Definitely looks to the period it’s dated 1843. What is value of things like this .
The fact that it has the date is really cool. I am not a coverlet evaluator; in my experience the handwoven coverlets don’t go for as much as quilts do, there does not seem to be the knowledge to appreciate the work that went into it. I have paid between $55 and $150 for whole (or almost whole) coverlets.
I think the first Jacquard loom came to America about 1810, and professional weavers would repeat the same pattern over and over. Some patterns that were popular were birds, a big basket of flowers, and a border that showed of a row of buildings.
That was a great find! Here is a website of the National Museum of the American Coverlet; http://www.coverletmuseum.org/default.htm maybe that will give you more information. 🙂
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