This overshot coverlet is woven of undyed cotton and blue and orange wool in two panels and seamed at the center. There is an applied woven fringe along each side and along the bottom edge. The piece is T-shaped to accommodate bedposts.
The three most common types of non-Jacquard woven coverlets made in the first few decades of the nineteenth century are known as: "Overshot," "Summer and Winter" (30.120.377), and "Doublecloth" (1984.330.1). This Overshot coverlet, woven of orange and blue wool and undyed cotton, is an example of the simplest of the three weaving techniques. The term "overshot" refers to the long passes of supplementary wool weft that overshoot the surface of the plain weave foundation, thereby forming the geometric pattern. Many of the earliest surviving American coverlets are woven in the overshot weave. Our coverlet was woven on a four-harness loom, and the foot end was obviously made to fit around bedposts. The piece could have been made either in the home or in a weaver's workshop. Its provenance is unknown, but it was probably woven sometime quite early in the nineteenth century. [Peck 2015; adapted from Amelia Peck, "American Quilts & Coverlets in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," 2007]