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 cotton and wool Jacquard double-woven coverlet features floral and geometric medallions with a floral border. The flower seen in each of the lower corners, along with the date, is the trademark of John LaTourette. LaTourette was born in New Jersey in 1793. In 1816 he and his wife, Sarah Schenck, moved to Germantown, Ohio. In 1828 he moved his family to Fountain County, Indiana, where he set up shop as a weaver. He and Sarah had fourteen children, several of whom became weavers. After his death in 1849, two of the children, Sarah and Henry, continued weaving coverlets in Indiana with his trademark. However, they placed the word “Year” above the flower to distinguish their work from their father's. This coverlet was woven in two sections, which were sewn together, and has a self fringe on the lower edge.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- possible maker
- LaTourette, John
- LaTourette, John
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center