Textiles - Overview
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 bassinet quilt with a framed center design is made of high-quality plain blue and white cotton feed sack fabrics. Dorothy Overall of Caldwell, Kansas, a contestant in many sewing events in the 1950s and 1960s, pieced and appliquéd this quilt on a Pfaff sewing machine she had won in a contest. In 1959 she won the National Cotton Bag Sewing Contest that included a vacation trip to Hollywood as part of the prize.
- According to Dorothy, cotton feed sack fabric was light enough for summer, almost as nice as percale and the colors didn’t fade. Cotton sacks for flour, animal feed and other commodities were produced in many colors and prints. Flour and feed companies found that their sales were often influenced by the popularity of their sacks which were used for clothes and household items.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Overall, Dorothy
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- accession number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center