The 50,000 objects in the textile collections fall into two main categories: raw fibers, yarns, and fabrics, and machines, tools, and other textile technology. Shawls, coverlets, samplers, laces, linens, synthetics, and other fabrics are part of the first group, along with the 400 quilts in the National Quilt Collection. Some of the Museum's most popular artifacts, such as the Star-Spangled Banner and the gowns of the first ladies, have an obvious textile connection.
The machinery and tools include spinning wheels, sewing machines, thimbles, needlework tools, looms, and an invention that changed the course of American agriculture and society. A model of Eli Whitney's cotton gin, made by the inventor in the early 1800s, shows the workings of a machine that helped make cotton plantations profitable in the South and encouraged the spread of slavery.
"Textiles - Overview" showing 1 items.
- This rust, white, and blue Jacquard double-woven coverlet may have been made by a member of the Craig family of Indiana, in 1850. William Craig and his sons William Jr. and James were weavers in Decatur and Franklin Counties, Indiana. Their corner trademark was a courthouse with a cupola. On occasion they used an initial and their last name to sign a coverlet. James Craig sometimes used a lily and the date to sign his work. William Sr. was born in Scotland in 1800, and immigrated to the United States in 1820. His sons were born in North Carolina in 1823 and 1824. He moved his family to Indiana in 1830. The wool in this coverlet is believed to have been hand spun by Jane Russell, grandmother of the donor. The lower border features birds and buildings, while the side borders show vases of flowers. The center of the coverlet features medallions of flowers, with leaves and vines.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Craig, James
- Craig Family
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center