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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. These coverlets also have full catalog records in Berea Digital and the Digital Library of Appalachia. Student Curatorial Associate Kathryn Dunn completed additional editing in 2015.

Lover's Knot Coverlet 1987.2.1

One half of this coverlet was collected by James Watt Raine of Berea College prior to 1909. His daughter then used it on her bed as a child. The other half of this coverlet was given by a donor of the Home Ecoomics Department at LSU. 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, who learned to weave at Berea College herself,  around 1900. 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. 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. The edge is self-edging (Selvedges). There is no seam. 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 belonged to John Day Larkin and was made by his mother, Louanna Erwin.  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 produced in Harrodsburg, KY, between 1920-1929. The owner cut the coverlet to a usable length and hemmed it. 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 is a single cloth coverlet. It was made using 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 used by Ms. Pratt when she was a student at Berea College. It was made by Mrs. Martin in 1943, in Maytown or Langly, KY. 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 Lilliian Bush, 1865-1973, a teacher at the Berea Foundation School. He probably acquired this while working within Kentucky. 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 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 in made with the Floral Jacquard pattern. Woven into this piece is the name "John Clark". This is a single cloth coverlet. 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. The edge is unseen due to an attached off white cloth. 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 Clara Wyatt in 1830-1839, in Berea Kentucky. It was woven on a harness loom. 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.