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Coverlets in the Appalachian Artifacts Collections

Ten interesting Appalachian coverlets described by Student Curator Brittney Westbrook in 2006.

About This Guide

This guide is based on the Digital Library of Appalachia coverlet project of 2006. Student Curatorial Associate Brittney Westbrook selected the coverlets, compiled the information, and photographed the coverlets. Student Curatorial Associate Travis Rigg edited and produced this guide in 2013.  Student Curatorial Associate Kathryn Dunn completed additional editing in 2015.

Lover's Knot Coverlet 1987.2.1

This coverlet was collected by James Watt Raine of Berea College prior to 1909. It may have been collected during Raine's extension trips into eastern Kentucky. His, Dorothy Raine used it on her bed as a child. At some point he or she divided it into two halves. One half is in our collection. The other half was given to the Home Economics Department at Louisiana State University.  It was donated by Dorothy Raine Swire.

It was made using an overshot weave in two panels. The warp is a one-ply, tight twist, linen that is off-white in color (due to age). The weft is a one-ply, loose twist, wool that is red and blue in color. For the border, the pattern is continued. One side is edged with the "Table" pattern and the other side ends with the "Lover's Knot." The edge is self-edging (Selvedges). The seam is off center and very visible. The coverlet is intact and has been well used, displaying some frayed areas.

Dimensions: 48 x 31 in.

 

Mountain Cucumber Coverlet 1989.2.1

 

This coverlet was collected by Sarah Boyce while a student at Berea College around 1900. It is believed to be late 19th century. It was donated by Dr. Robert Boyce.

It is made using an overshot weave in a single panel. The warp is one-ply, tight twist, cotton that is off-white in color. The weft is one-ply, loose twist, wool that is navy blue. The pattern is believed to be a variation of Chariot Wheel. For the border the pattern is continued, which consists of basics shapes which form a table and wheel. The pattern displays the Mountain Cucumber, also known as the Governor's Garden. It is made in two panels. The edge is self-edging (Selvedges).  The coverlet has been well used and worn. Parts of the coverlet are torn and tattered.

Sunrise with Window Sash, Table, and Tennessee Trouble Coverlet 1997.31.1

This coverlet was made by Louanna Erwin of Huntland, Tennessee, between about 1915 and 1933. Erwin was a 1923 graduate of Berea College. Erwin passed it to her son, John Day Larkin.  Larkin to his daughter Margaret Larkin Pettingill, the donor. 

It is made with an overshot weave in two panels. The warp is one-ply, tight twist, linen that is cream in color (due to age). The weft is one-ply, loose twist, wool that is blue and pink in color. The "Tennessee Trouble" and " Table" patterns make up the coverlet's edges. The pattern, Sunrise with Window Sash, is found in the body of the coverlet. The edges are self-edging (Selvedges). The seam is well matched but is visible on the both sides of the coverlet. The coverlet is in good condition and is intact. It has some wear, holes, and stains. A large hole is found on one end of the coverlet.

Dimensions: 86 x 76 1/3 in.

Double Bowknot Coverlet 2003.19.2

This coverlet was purchased at a sale in Harrodsburg, Kentucky in 1947. It was donated by the Vivian Tebbs Smith Moore Estate.

It was made using an overshot weave in a single pattern, the Double Bowknot. The warp is one-ply, tight twist, linen that is white in color. The weft is one-ply, loose twist, wool that is dark navy blue in color. For the border the pattern is continued to the edges. The edges are self-edging (Selvedges). The side edges are hemmed to the reverse side of coverlet. There is no seam. The coverlet is in good condition. There are no major stains. Parts of the coverlet are faded. There have been no repairs.

Dimensions: 66 x 27 in.

Unnamed Geometric Pattern Coverlet 1970.8.12

This coverlet is part of the Fireside Collection, textiles collected by the Berea College's Fireside Industries program as samples and for instruction.  These items were collected between 1893 and 1941. For most of this collection very little provence exists.  This coverlet is most likely mid-19th century. 

This is a reverse double-weave in two panels. The warp is one-ply, tight twist, cotton that is white in color. The weft is one-ply, tight twist, wool that is dark navy blue in color. For the border, the pattern was continued to the edges. The edge is self-edging (Selvedges). The seam is matched well, though still visible. The coverlet is in poor condition. Parts of the coverlet are faded and torn. The coverlet is missing large sections of wool.

Dimensions: 77 x 69 in.

Cat Tracks and Snail's Trail Coverlet 1988.1.1

This coverlet was made by a Mrs. Martin in 1943, in Maytown or Langly, Kentucky.  It was brought to Berea College about 1939 by student Ruth Pratt (class of 1943) to use on her bed. It was donated by Ruth Pratt Copenhefer.

It is made using an overshot weave in one panel. The warp is one-ply, tight twist, linen that is off white in color, due to age. The weft is one-ply, loose twist, wool that is blue in color. For the border, the pattern, Snail's Trail and Cat Tracks, continues to the edge. For the edging, the coverlet has been turned to its reverse side and has been stitched closed. There is no seam. The coverlet is in good condition. The coverlet has faded in a few areas and has been torn along one side. In some areas the wool has detached itself due to use.

Dimensions: 60 x 80 in.

Divided Table Coverlet 1994.5.1

This coverlet belonged to Florence Lillian Bush (1865-1973) a teacher at the Berea Foundation School. She probably acquired this coverlet while working at Berea.  It was donated by Velma Plumb. 

This is an overshot coverlet. It is made using an overshot weave in two panels. The warp is one-ply, tight twist, linen that is off-white in color due to age. The weft is one-ply, loose twist, wool that is navy blue in color. For the border, the pattern, Divided Table, is continued. The edge is self-edging (Selvedges). The seam is very visible. The coverlet has been well used and worn. Parts of the coverlet are torn and tattered.

Dimensions: 66 in.

Table and Blocks Coverlet 2001.10.1

This coverlet was made by Ollie Cowley of Hardin County, Kentucky, in 1890-1899. She married Dr. M.S. Allen of New Smithton, Kentucky.  It was donated by Nancy Cooper Beatty Bluhm.

It is made with an overshot weave in two panels. The warp is one-ply, tight twist, linen that is off-white in color, due to age. The weft is one-ply, loose twist, wool that was once pink but has faded to a light lavender in color. The coverlet also displays blue tones. For the border, the pattern, Table, is continued. The edge is self-edging (Selvedges). The seam is visible, but well matched. The coverlet is intact and is well used.

Dimensions: 83 x 75 in.

Jacquard Coverlet 1997.27.6

This coverlet was found in the collections in 1993.  Its provenance has been lost except it connection to a "John Clark" whose name is woven into the pattern. 

It is a Jacquard coverlet in a floral pattern withe the name "John Clark" woven in. It is made using a jacquard single weave in one panel. The warp is one-ply, tight twist, wool that is dark navy blue in color. The weft is one-ply, tight twist, cotton that is light tan in color. The floral pattern is continued to the edges. One edge is unseen do to an attached muslin hanging pocket. There is no seam. The coverlet is in good condition. The coverlet has frayed around the edges. Some areas have holes, due to use.

Dimensions: 74 1/4 x 65 in.

Wheel of Fortune Coverlet 1993.2.1

This coverlet was made by professional weaver Clara Wyatt during 1930-1939, in Berea Kentucky.  Wyatt was associated with the early Berea College Fireside Industries Program and later operated her own weaving business. It was donated by Janice Klock Martin.

It is made with an overshot weave in two panels. The warp is one-ply, tight twist, linen that is white in color. The weft is one-ply, loose twist, wool that is green and pink in color. The pattern, Cup and Saucer (also known as the Wheel of Fortune), is continued to the edges. The edge is self-edging (Selvedges). The seam is well matched, and can be seen on both sides of the coverlet. The coverlet is in very good condition.

Dimensions: 104 x 64 in.