(104) The Subtle Beauty of Southern Counterpanes ~ FULL

In the 19th century, counterpanes  in the southern U.S. were woven with fine natural cotton in structures including honeycomb, dimity, spot, and huck. Her favorite structure was called huckaback by the early weavers. Gay has been researching and weaving these southern beauties, but there remains a rich heritage of southern counterpanes still waiting to be explored.

This workshop will include deciphering early counterpane drafts and recording them in drawdowns via Fiberworks software or graph paper if a computer is not available. Gay will provide information about the tie-ups and treadlings for each structure. (Early drafts only supplied the threading drafts as it was assumed the weaver knew the standard tie-up and treadling systems.) Gay will also share examples of early 19th southern counterpanes that students will be able to examine. 

Students will have the opportunity to carefully examine each unique weave structure. This is a round robin workshop so students will have the opportunity to experience the intricacies of each weave on the loom.  Each student will warp a four shaft loom with 20/2 unmercerized cotton based on an assigned weave structure. They will take home a notebook with detailed instructions with the threading, tie-up, and treadling for each sample as well as samples woven in the workshop for further study. 





Gay McGeary

Experience Level:


Maximum Class Size:


Materials fee:

$12 covers class notebook with instructions for each counterpane sample, plastic sleeves for saving samples, and a detailed bibliography.

Equipment required

4-shaft Loom, Pre-warped

Student Supplies:

  • Pre-warped 4-shaft loom.
  • 20/2 Cotton yarn for project.


  • Pre-warp the loom based on the draft provided by the instructor.