Historical Chenille Bedspreads Exhibit Looking For Loaners

What started as a donation of several old linens to the Door County Historical Society for its annual Heritage Village Rummage Sale will be featured as an exhibit titled Chenille Bedspreads during September 2017.

While sorting through the donated assortment of chenille bedspreads, a volunteer commented with enthusiasm, “Wouldn’t it make a neat exhibit?” The Historical Society agreed. Exhibit volunteers hope the exhibit will evoke a “walk down memory lane.” Although the collection is varied, the Door County Historical Society is asking for some help. They have 16 different bedspreads, but would like to borrow about eight more in a variety of patterns and colors.

Chenille-type yarn is a relatively new textile dating to the 18th century in France. Chenille is the French word for caterpillar. The bedspread industry was the key for economic development in northwest Georgia and Appalachia beginning in 1890. Their use spread across small town America and they were regularly advertised in Door County papers. The popularity of Chenille bedspreads recurs at various times in our history: 1890s, 1930s, 1950s, and again in the 1990s. This last revival appeared in quilting circles and is known as rag or slash quilts due to the frayed seams.

The exhibit will be on display in the Village Chapel at the Heritage Village at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan Street, in Sturgeon Bay from Sept. 2-30. If you have a chenille bedspread or any other chenille products that you are willing to share for the month of September, contact Megan at 920.421.2348 or [email protected].


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