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Early American Textiles

Views: 5264 Added: 07/20/2009 Updated: 07/20/2009

n Americana collection without textiles is like a bagel without cream cheese... very bland.

Serious collectors carefully seek and acquire the best pieces of early American furniture they can find and afford then add candlesticks, fireplace equipment, ceramics, and perhaps, some glass and art. All these valuable and beautiful items have one common denominator they are hard.

Textiles bring softness, color, texture and depth to an otherwise well appointed room. The serious collector would never be content with an Ethan Allen reproduction of a period Queen Anne or Chippendale chest. Yet, the same "purist" will halt the quest for authenticity and use machine made bed covers, floor covers and window treatments as a "quick finish".


Solutions: The bed is the focal point of the bedroom. A beautiful, wholecloth, chintz quilt, "linsey woolsey" quilted wool coverlid or candlewick counterpane would be a great frosting on that "cake". If it is a bedroom used daily, perhaps a compromise... a cotton duvet. You could add a softly folded, period bedcover at the foot of the bed or on a nearby blanket chest or chair.

On the floor, many people use Orientals. Of course that is fine but, for a change, one might like to feel the difference that an indigenous American Textile can make. Use a rare yarn sewn or shirred rug for a protected spot or a hooked rug to bring the room some "Folk Art Underfoot". For a real jolt, how about a carpet as a wall hanging - true American Folk Art.

At the window... sometimes we need to improvise. Less is more. Instead of heavy draperies in reproduction fabrics, try light swags or valences made from a rare treasure... period yardage. Homespun linen sheets, separated at the center seams, and retaining their very fine, hand stitched hems have no equal, blowing in the breeze at a window.

You will find excellent examples of early American textiles in our country room displays at fine shows.

Author:   Colette Donovan
Phone: 978 346 0614
E-mail: Ask for Details

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An American Hooked Rug

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