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 blue and white cotton and wool coverlet features a variation of the Snowball pattern in the center, and a variation of the Pine Tree pattern along its borders. It is double-woven and believed to have been made in New York State in the first half of the 19th century. It was passed down through the family of the original owner to the donor, before being given to the Museum. The name of the weaver is unknown. Its condition is testimony to many years of use. Coverlets are damaged by sunlight, insects, and abrasion brought on by everyday use. They are frequently worn away at the top edge, by the owner pulling them up at night to stay warm.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- early 19th century
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center