1790 - 1810 Indigo Wool Whole Cloth Quilt

This example of a late 18th-early 19th-century bedcover is quilted in a pattern of repeating large feathered clamshells, 7 stitches per inch. The quilt was made with glazed indigo wool, has a wool filling, and wool/cotton lining. Both sewing and quilting threads are 2-ply blue wool. The edges of the front and original lining were turned in and stitched with blue wool. It has had much wear and a second lining of a cotton/silk fabric was added at later date.
The fabric for this quilt was dyed blue with indigo, one of the oldest dyes used for textiles. Glazing, a process involving the use of a hot press on wool fabric, resulted in a smooth, lustrous fabric surface. Little of the glaze remains on this quilt.
Currently not on view
Object Name
quilted counterpane
date made
Physical Description
fabric, wool, wool/cotton, cotton/silk (overall material)
thread, wool (overall material)
filling, wool (overall material)
overall: 99 in x 90 in; 251 cm x 229 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Franklin Chace
Additional Media

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