Category Art and Style

A Lovely History – Vintage Wedding Dress Exhibit

In January, the McCarl Gallery hosted a special exhibit of vintage wedding dresses. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we look back on the development of American wedding fashions. Queen Victoria of England is certainly the wedding dress’s most famous and influential trendsetter. At her wedding to Prince Albert in February 1840, Queen Victoria donned a […]

Natural Dyes in Textiles

Over the past 5,000 years, society has been naturally dying textiles.  The early textiles were dyed red, orange and brown colors. As more discoveries were made, new methods for dying and new dyes themselves were created. By the 19th century, beautifully colored textiles were being produced and sold. Over time, naturally dying textiles turned into […]

Jacquard Loom: The Precursor Computer

The computer and textile industries, to most people, seem to have nothing in common. If anything, people can easily comprehend that development in the computer industry led to advancement in the textile industry. How hard would it be to believe that the exact opposite is also correct? Yes, it is quite true that the weaving […]

The History of Basket Weaving

With Easter just right around the corner, The McCarl Coverlet Gallery thought it would be fun to discuss a different type of weaving– basket weaving! Historical evidence suggests that baskets have existed since the beginning of human civilization. To put this into perspective, archeologists have discovered  ancient basket weavings in Egyptian pyramids, which date back […]

Art in Bloom – Flower Designs in Coverlets

Most American coverlets from the Nineteenth Century feature realistic imagery. The popularity of these images reveals their importance to both individual customers and American culture as a whole. For example, buildings from the humble farmhouse to United States Capitol found themselves woven into coverlets, because America was creatively striving to definite itself as architecturally important […]

African American Weaving and Quilts: A Tradition of color Hidden but Not Forgotten

There is hardly any record on African American weavers as weaving was most common among white men. African American quilting traditions were very common around the time of the four civilizations of Central and West Africa. These were: the Mande-speaking peoples; the Yoruba and Fon peoples; the Ejagham peoples; and the Kongo peoples. Textiles were […]

Punch Cards: 19th Century Coverlet Technology

Many visitors to our Gallery take the time to view every coverlet on display, and maybe those in our storage facilities, but very few tend to notice the small table in the corner. From afar, this table holds what appears to be a pile of cardboard, but this “pile of cardboard” is the very reason […]