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Jacquard Coverlet

Curated Submission
Komoka, Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada
Circa 1880
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
227 x 220
Materials & techniques
Cotton, wool; Jacquard woven
Gift of Mary G. Noble
Textile Museum of Canada T94.0022
John Campbell was a prominent jacquard loom weaver who received his training in Paisley, Scotland, the first textile centre in Britain to use jacquard looms, in the early 19th century. He immigrated to the United States in 1832 and moved to Canada in 1859, bringing his jacquard equipment with him. He settled in the small village of Komoka near London, Ontario, where he wove coverlets and blankets until his death in 1885.
Many of the blankets he wove in Canada used designs that were popular in the United States in the 1850s: roses and stars, rows of willow trees, and American eagles are featured prominently. Woven in double weave, in layers of white cotton and indigo blue wool, they demonstrate a colour combination particularly favoured by Canadian weavers in the 19th century.
John Campbell’s loom is now on display in the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. From 1995–99, Science Centre volunteers wove a replica of this coverlet to learn how to operate an early jacquard loom and to demonstrate the weaving process to the visitors. The replica was donated to the Textile Museum of Canada in 2000 where it is now kept side by side with the original as an expression of the continuity of textile traditions in Canada.
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