Fiber Arts Books: Handwoven Textiles of Early New England

by Nancy Dick Bogdonoff

4.0 out of 5 stars American handweaving

Published in the 1970’s, shortly before American historians began reexamining and revising their take on things, Handwoven Textiles is a concise overview of the work of home weavers, both amateur and professional. Some of what author Bogdanoff writes must be judiciously appraised before accepting it as fact. She liberally quotes Alice Morse Earle, for instance, and today it is known that much of Earle’s work is sentimental and based on hearsay. Bogdanoff also claims that ownership of weaving looms was widespread among the middle and lower classes, which is untrue. In spite of her Colonial Revivalist take on the making of textiles at home, however, this book is worth reading for its fine examples and photos of articles such as plain toweling, tablecloths, and bed furnishings. Her knowledge of drafting patterns and loom types is also reliable. Some of her mini-bios of individual weavers is interesting as well.

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