Variation 4, "Bolling Crest" series

Silk dress goods printed in black on white with a variation (S-226) of an "ant and swallow" design derived from the Bolling family crest in England, to honor the marriage of President Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt in December 1915. This variation has a thin black check on a white ground, with scattered larger squares, white squares containing black ants and black squares containing white birds. The use of strict black and white reflects the fact that color dyes were scarce due to the blockade of Germany by British ships during WWI. German firms were the primary holders of dye and colorant patents, , and the blockade created a critical shortage of dyestuffs in the still-neutral United States in 1915-1916. When the US entered the war in 1917, on the British side, the German dye patents were seized and turned over to American manufacturers.
Currently not on view
Object Name
fabric length
date made
Wilson, Edith Bolling Galt
Sussex Print Works
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
black (overall color)
white ground (overall color)
plain weave (overall production method/technique)
cylinder printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 36 in x 40 in; 91.44 cm x 101.6 cm
place made
United States: New Jersey, Newton
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
World War I
Bolling Crest Dress Silks
American Silks
American Silk Industry
World War I
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Bolling Crest Dress Silks
American Silks
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Sussex Print Works, Newton, NJ
Additional Media

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