geometric double-cloth coverlet; 1800-1850, Virginia

This is a red and white, geometric double-woven coverlet woven from two sets of cotton and red wool warp and wefts. The upper edge is hemmed with 2- ply s twist white cotton. The lower edge has a knotted self fringe, which has sustained some damaged. Three of the four sides of the coverlet have a deep border featuring a linear design. The borders measure 5.5 inches on three sides and 3.5 inches along the top edge. The coverlet is in good condition. The donor stated that this coverlet was woven by his great-grandmother in the first half of the nineteenth century in Hillsboro, Loudon County, Virginia. More research is needed to determine which of his great-grandmothers may have woven it as there was no specification as to whether this grandparent was from the paternal or maternal lines. Although family lore holds that this coverlet was woven by a grandmother, the nature of geometric double-cloth weaving in the early nineteenth century likely meant that this coverlet was woven by a male, professional weaver.
Geometric double-cloth patterns are based on what is known as block weaving which was developed in the sixteenth century in the German States of the Holy Roman Empire and spread quickly throughout Europe and into America. Traditionally used for damask linen weaving, American weavers would expand these patterns creating geometric double-cloth coverlets like the one seen here.
Currently not on view
date made
Physical Description
red, white (overall color)
geometric double-cloth (overall production method/technique)
cotton, wool (overall material)
overall: 83 1/2 in x 72 in; 212.09 cm x 182.88 cm
fringe: 3 in; 7.62 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Jack and Rhetta S. Potts
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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