Jacquard Coverlet

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!

Jacquard coverlet

Where the indigo and madder sections intersect, they create a darker blue-red color.

Jacquard coverlet reverse

Just as pretty on the reverse side.

seam

The seam in the middle of the coverlet.

Each panel is 40 inches wide, and the coverlet is 72 inches long, but the top border is missing.  The sett is 15 ends per inch (6 ends per centimeter).

missing top border

The border is missing along the top.

close-up of threads

The torn spot shows the layers of double-woven cloth.

yarn close-up

Close-up of the 2-ply wool.

woven motifs

Pineapples symbolize hospitality

border

This architectural border shows up with different central designs on other coverlets.  This blanket probably had fringe originally – the fringe panels were woven on separate looms and attached after weaving.

border corner

The inner border design turns the corner to the bottom – but the repeat of the outer border breaks off awkwardly.

border motif

This is my favorite motif on the bottom border.

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.

window detail

Those attic windows are a little wonky.

border detail

The detail in the trees is amazing, but what are those weird little shapes between the tiny house and the church? Flags? Part of a sailing ship that didn’t quite make it into the design?

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.