Throughout history, men were predominantly coverlet weavers and women were the consumers. But in rare cases, women professionally wove coverlets. One of these unique women was Sarah LaTourette from Indiana. To date, LaTourette is the only woman documented to have woven coverlets on a loom with Jacquard machinery.
Since weaving was a family tradition, LaTourette learned the craft from her father, John LaTourette. When her father passed in 1849, LaTourette and her brother took over the family weaving business. To distinguish their coverlets from the ones their father produced, the word “year” was added to the corner block, but the flower logo was maintained. LaTourette was able to weave about three coverlets a week priced at approximately $10 each. It has been noted that if requested, she was capable of weaving one coverlet in a day. In addition to weaving, the family spun their own thread for the loom.
The McCarl Gallery is blessed to own one of LaTourette’s beautiful navy and white coverlets woven in 1849. The family flower logo and the trademark of “year” can be seen in the corner block.
Woven into History
American Coverlets and Their Weavers