19th Century Coverlets Americana Folk Art From a Time Gone By

I just purchased a gorgeous pristine Antique Woven Coverlet .. dates from 1850s Ohio signed by Weaver Daniel Bury American Folk Art from a time gone by.



Below is history of Coverlets.

The National Museum of the American Coverlet focuses on antique American woven coverlets. Dated coverlets in the collection range from 1771 to 1889.

Coverlets are woven bedcovers, used as the topmost covering on a bed. The weaver worked on a loom to construct the textile itself one row at a time, and the pattern was woven in as part of the process.

In comparison, quilts are often made by cutting and assembling pattern pieces, then sewing them to a backing with a filler material in between – much like a sandwich.

A quilt is generally assembled from pre-existing cloth.
A coverlet is made from scratch.

Woven coverlets were popular in many states during the early-to-mid nineteenth century (1800s).

Coverlets were woven by both men and women. The two main types are called geometric and figured and fancy.

The pattern motifs in geometrics are based on circles and squares.

Geometric coverlets were woven by both women and men. Women generally produced them for their own use at home, or for barter with a neighbor. However, since there wasn’t a loom (and all the related equipment) in every household, there were professional weavers as well – usually men – filling in the needs of the community.

The patterns in figured and fancy coverlets are curvilinear and realistic and can include floral, animal, architectural and other motifs. These are the coverlets that most often contain inscriptions. Inscriptions can include the weaver’s name, his location, the year it was made, the name of the person it was made for, and sometimes a slogan of some sort.

Figured and fancy coverlets were virtually all made by professional weavers – men. So when you see a woman’s name on a figured coverlet, it is the client/owner, not the weaver.

Coverlets were generally made of wool and cotton, although some are all wool. The wool was usually hand-spun and dyed with natural dyes. The cotton was most often machine-spun and left undyed. *

Unlike quilts, coverlets are reversible – intended to be used on either side.

That is why, when a coverlet has an inscription, it is almost always woven in backwards and forwards, to enable the observer to read it on both sides of the textile.

from the national museum of coverlets

Published by michelles antiques

Michelle's Antiques llc 418 N. Hunt located off University at Hunt Dr. look for our signs. An eclectic shop filled with curated items from the PAST.

One thought on “19th Century Coverlets Americana Folk Art From a Time Gone By

  1. We have a Daniel Bury coverlet – corner block says “Daniel Bury New Portage Ohio 1841.” I understand he was in New Portage only for one year, his other work has a different town. Another of the same design was featured in a coverlet show at the Minneapolis Museum dome years ago and was featured in The Magazine Antiques at that time.

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