(123) FULL ~ Interpreting 19th Century Southern Counterpane Drafts

Early southern counterpanes, woven with fine weight cotton, provided a lightweight bedcovering for hot summer months. While the patterns may be subtle, they were often combined with elaborate fringes. Unfortunately, few examples have survived. However, Gay has found two collections of 19th century counterpane drafts attributed to weavers from the western counties of Virginia.

Come join her in an exploration of the counterpane drafts that were handwritten on narrow strips of paper. Interpretation of the threading drafts can be challenging. Usually only the draft is given and, if lucky, the weave structure will also be included. The weave structures used for the counterpanes included dimity, honeycomb, huckaback, Ms & Os, satin, and twill. The weaver often combined two of these weave structures to form an interesting block design. Come and get a taste of the beautiful, but subtle southern counterpanes.

Not only will this class include the interpretation of 19th century drafts, but it will include examination of woven samples of many of the drafts, woven by Gay or members of the Early American Coverlet & Counterpane Study Group of the Complex Weavers. Finally, it will also include a detailed bibliography of books and article written about early southern counterpanes.


Gay McGeary

Experience Level:


Class Length:

Two-hour Class

Class Day/Time:

Thursday Morning

Maximum Class Size: