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Catalog Data

Physical Description:
geometric (overall production method/technique)
double cloth (overall production method/technique)
blue, red, white (overall color)
cotton, wool (overall material)
overall: 83 in x 63 in; 210.82 cm x 160.02 cm
Object Name:
coverlet, geometric
coverlet, overshot, geometric, double-woven
Place made:
United States
Date made:
19th century
This red, white, and blue, geometric, double-cloth coverlet features a “Single Snowball” pattern centerfield and “Pine Tree” border. These patterns were developed in the German States of the Holy Roman Empire at the end of the seventeenth century and were initially used in damask linen weaving on a much smaller scale. Several German weavers published books during the Early Modern period, and they were translated into numerous languages and this style of block weaving, as it is known, spread across Europe. Immigrant weavers brought these structures and pattern to the United States, increased the scale of the patterns and wove them as double cloth both for coverlets and ingrain carpet. This coverlet was woven as one length, cut, folded back on itself, and seamed up the middle to create the finished coverlet. The coverlet measures 83 inches by 63 inches, and there are traces of self-fringe along the bottom edge. The “Pine Tree” borders found along three sides were created from fractional reduction of the main block patterning. While women were fully capable of weaving overshot and summer and winter coverlets on their own simple looms, many of the geometric double loom patterns required looms with multiple shafts and are traditionally associated with male, professional weavers. There is no information about who may have woven this coverlet or where it may have come from.
Currently not on view
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Robert Dickey Burley
ID Number:
Catalog number:
Accession number:
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source:
National Museum of American History