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.
- Eliza Hackly Pelton Pettibone of Crown Point, Indiana, is said to have owned this double-woven coverlet. The coverlet is made of cotton and wool, and is thought to have been made abut 1840. The pattern used has several names: "Rose in Bloom," "Double Compass," " Wheel of Fortune," and "Cup and Saucer." It was woven in two sections which were later sewn together. The name of the weaver is unknown. There were many coverlet weavers in Indiana in the first half of the 19th century. According to Pauline Woodard Montgomery, in her book Indiana Coverlets and Their Weavers , one of the earliest written references to a coverlet by someone living in Indiana was a request for eight “coverlids” to be delivered to the U.S. Army at Ft. Knox, near the town of Vincennes in 1803.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1840
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center