Textiles - Overview
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.
- Either Sarah or Henry LaTourette, of Fountain County, Indiana, is believed to have woven this cotton and wool Jacquard double-woven coverlet in 1858. The coverlet is woven in two pieces, which were sewn together. It features stylized flowers in rectangles, with a flower and vine border. Sarah (1830—1914) and Henry (1832—1892) were two of weaver John LaTourette’s fourteen children, and coverlet weavers in their own right. When John died in 1849, Sarah and Henry continued weaving in Indiana. They used their father’s corner flower trademark, but added the word “Year” to distinguish their work from his. Since Sarah and Henry used the same trademark, it is impossible to be certain which coverlets were made by Sarah (one of the few known female Jacquard weavers) and which were made by her brother. Sarah married John Van Sickle in 1870 and moved to Kentucky. Her brother married Elizabeth Cooper in 1872. Henry died in 1892, and Sarah died in 1914. Both Henry and Sarah are buried in the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Covington, Indiana.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- LaTourette, Sarah
- LaTourette, Sarah
- LaTourette, Henry
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- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center