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Blanket (Couvre Boutonné)

Curated Submission
Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
1875 – 1900
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
221 x 180
Materials & techniques
Wool; Woven
Gift of Dr. Howard Gorman
Textile Museum of Canada T92.0201
In 17th-century Quebec, there was limited local textile production. Money could be made from the fish or fur trade and used to purchase imported fabrics. When the bottom dropped out of the beaver market in the 18th century, there was a greater need for self-sufficiency in the colony, and the production of textiles in the home gradually increased. Throughout the 19th century, many useful fabrics for home and market were produced on the farms of Quebec.

Among these are distinctive bed coverings constructed using weft-loop weaving (boutonné). On the plain tabby ground of this coverlet, raised patterns were made by discontinuous wefts of dyed wool which are pulled by hand to form loops. This simple, resourceful patterning creates colourful designs that, together with pom-poms and tassels, form a remarkably durable, textured, and bright textile. The manual technique allowed a free-form use of motifs and provided opportunities for individual creativity in colour and design. By the early 20th century, designs became more standardized in order to encourage the sale of these textiles in a wider market.
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