Bed Rugs: 18th and Early 19th Century Embroidered Bed Covers
by Jessie Armstead Marshall
Labors of Love
Few people except for textile historians realize that rugs originally served as coverings for beds and tables rather than floors. Few have seen, “up close and personal”, an antique bed rug. Generally embroidered in a looping stitch, using woolen, vegetable-dyed yarns on a woolen or linen base, bed rugs are thick, heavy, and probably extremely warm! Ms Marshall has first hand experience of restoring several of these historic treasures, and has made an extensive study of the women who made them, the techniques they applied, and the materials they used. Photographs are provided of existing rugs in private and public collections. Bed Rugs is one of a very few references on this topic and will be of interest and value to anyone wishing to learn about this almost-forgotten ancestor of the quilt.