Category Archive: Historic Textiles

Rags, Rugs, and a Mystery

I saw this picture in a National Archives blog post for Mother’s Day.  The winding of the rags caught my eye. I thought I remembered reading that during the Great Depression, whole kits… Continue reading

Rose Overshot Coverlet

This year is flying by and I have yet to finish a project, but I am buying enough textiles to make up the difference! This past week, my sister and great-nephew visited, through… Continue reading

Textile Treasures

A most generous reader, Ranger Elaine, has sent me some wonderful treasures from her collection. The star of the show is this tiny silk-covered accordion book with quilt scraps in it.  Elaine thinks… Continue reading

Domestics and the Crinoline in 1862

Yesterday we went to an estate sale at a huge ranch.  Thousands of items were being sold, but most of them were just ordinary things like throw pillows or boxes of glassware from… Continue reading

What Clothes Reveal

You know the image of our industrious forebears — After studying textile history for the last 20 years, I had a hazy idea that that image casts our ancestors in a glorified light,… Continue reading

Three Clues in the Parchment

In the early 1960s, a young agriculture historian named M. L. Ryder had the idea to use parchment manuscripts to research medieval sheep breeds. He surveyed manuscript illuminations for evidence of the colors,… Continue reading

Dress Diary 1855-1917

A few days ago, when I was looking at the Hollywood costume sketches at the Brooklyn Museum, I noticed this wonderful dress diary in their archives. The diary’s owner, Ida Jackson, was born… Continue reading

The Cloth Antiquary

What do you do when there’s no Wikipedia page? In my last three posts, I have given you some small samples from the 1936 book, The Romance of French Weaving.  There are so… Continue reading

A Treasury of Textiles

Today is Bastille Day, and while the crowds outside are celebrating with music and fireworks, let’s slip down a cool dim hallway to lose ourselves in a treasury of French craftsmanship. From 1732… Continue reading

Rules, Routines, and the Restraint of Initiative

Today I am going to let M. Paul Rodier show us The Romance of French Weaving with a little tour of Paris on the thirteenth century.  The king, Louis IX, later known as… Continue reading