Abram Allen; coverlet; Jacquard, double-cloth;1838; Ohio

Abram Allen; coverlet; Jacquard, double-cloth;1838; Ohio

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Abram Allen wove this Jacquard, double-cloth coverlet in Ohio in 1838. Measuring eighty-two inches by seventy-four inches, the coverlet features a stylized tulip, bell-flower, or pear centerfield with bird and tree borders. The side borders also feature a quadrupled sine curve border and the bottom border is made up of a six-fold sine curve. The word Ohio and the date 1838 are woven into two lower corners of the coverlet. Although unsigned, this coverlet can be attributed to Abram Allen and is similar to another coverlet in the NMAH collection (1980.0089.01). This double-cloth coverlet was woven from a combination of two sets of wool and cotton warps that exchange places revealing the pattern and lock the two separate plain weave structures together in a complementary weave structure. Abram Allen was born May 3, 1796, in Ireland. He married Kate Cata Howlan (1800-1866) June 25, 1818, and died June 7, 1867, in Clinton, OH. Coverlet scholar, John Heisey described him as the only man in the county with a flying shuttle, suggesting he owned a broad loom. This makes more sense when considering that the coverlet is one piece rather that center-seamed. Clarita Anderson noted that later in his life, Allen was listed in various census as both a wagon-maker and farmer, suggesting that weaving was only ever a part of his economic activity in Clinton County. Henry Ford Museum in Michigan and the Art Institute of Chicago both possess coverlets in the style of the one held by NMAH.
Currently not on view
Object Name
coverlet, figured
Date made
place made
United States: Ohio, Clinton
Physical Description
white (overall color)
jacquard (overall production method/technique)
double weave (overall production method/technique)
Figured and Fancy (center pattern)
blue (overall color)
overall: 82 in x 74 in; 208.28 cm x 187.96 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. G. H. Paull
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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