Sunday, 2 November 2014

More On Blankets.

American Checked Blanket c. “1600 - 1800” (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

“Point” Blanket reported to be carried by Private Henry Marble of Massachusetts during the Revolution.  White Wool, 2 3/4” Indigo Blue Stripes and Points(Museum of the Fur Trade)

Fragment of Striped Du
el, A Tracking Cloth of English Manufacture, Found at Burr’s Hill, Warren, Rhode Island, a 17th Century Wampanoug Indian Burial Site(And Site where the 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center used to play Little League Baseball) (Haenreer Museum of Anthropology)
English Manufacture (For the American Market) Rose Blanket c. 1750 - 1830

Height 29.0cm, width 23.5cm
Printed by Smith, W. and Philips, J. and N. Ltd
Made for Smith, W. and Co. Ltd

 Early / Mid Wool Center Seam Solid Color Blanket 18th to 19th Century (Private Collection)

Wool Center Seam Solid Color Blanket 18th to Early / Mid 19th Century (Private Collection)

“June 24th, 1757...Col. Stephen is highly blameable to take any of the Regimental supplies for the Indians... If any of the  Dutch Blankets rem’n, and not wanted for the Indians, I’ve no objection to their being replaced in the room of those made use of.”

in 1716 “Indian Peggy” appeared before the Commissioner of Trade with a “French man” purchased by her brother and given to her. The man had come dearly, costing her brother “a gun, a white Duffield match coat, two broadcloth match coats, a cutlass and some powder and paint”. Peggy was willing to exchange her hostage for the gun, and “the value of the rest of the goods might be paid her in strouds‘ 

 Whitney Blankets.
Witnedown  was at one time the trademark of Smith and Philips Ltd blanket makers of Witney.  Whipped blankets were ones which had a strip of silky material sewn over their edges, bound blankets were finished with a row of blanket stitching, whipped blankets were the cheaper of the two.
Wars and natural disasters have always created sudden demands for large quantities of blankets and Witney manufacturers received many Government orders over the years. The Seven Years' War (1756-1763), the American War of Independence, the Napoleonic Wars and two World Wars all brought blanket booms to the town, although some were very short lived. Cabin blankets for use at sea were first made in the early 18th century [3]. Many of these blankets would not have been of the best quality and were plain unbleached or dyed grey or olive.
    Witney did  not really specialize in or become famous for blankets until the early 17th century. Before this time its main trade was undyed broadcloth (in common with many other weaving industries in the country at that time). This was a kind of coarse, heavy woollen cloth  made from fell wool and although it was commonly known as 'blanketing' many other things apart from blankets were made from it. It had warmth, weight and water repellent qualities that made it very useful for clothing such as coats and petticoats. In 1716 John Gay referred to this in his poem 'Trivia': 
True Witney Broad-cloth with its Shag unshorn,
Unpierc'd is in the lashing Tempest worn 

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