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Bed Rug
1786
Embroiderer:Embroidered by Lorrain Collins , American, born 1759
Embroiderer:Embroidered by Lorrain Collins , American, born 1767
Hand-embroidered wool on a plain-woven wool ground
Primary Dimensions (height x width): 85 x 90in. (215.9 x 228.6cm)
Credit Line: The Newman S. Hungerford Museum Fund
Gallery Copy: The top edge of this bed rug was trimmed off, presumably due to wear from repeatedly pulling. This bed rug includes darning stitches that originated in the unending task of mending clothing, but could also be used to create complex, decorative patterns. The resemblance between this bed rug and one created by her aunt, Elizabeth Foote Huntington, suggests that Lorrain was probably sent from her home in Litchfield to stay and study with her aunt and uncle in Marlborough. Like other early needleworkers, Lorrain grew up in a well-educated family, which played an important role in the learning of advanced needlework skills.
Description: Bed rug made of light, medium, and dark blue, green, brown, and yellow wool yarns embroidered on a wool ground. The asymmetrical pattern includes an oversize central flower surrounded by a meandering vine with large and small flowers, leaves, and over twenty different birds. The flowers, leaves, and birds are filled in with patterned darning stitches to create diamond, heart, and herringbone patterns. The background of the pattern is filled in with vertical lines of dark brown wool. "LORRAINE/ COLLINS/ 1786" is cross-stitched in yellow above the large central flower. The bottom corners of the bed rug are angled. The pattern is executed in dyed, homespun wool threads, that are grouped together and then embroidered with darning, satin, and Roumanian stitches. The undyed, plain-woven wool ground is hand-woven of handspun single threads, and consists of three lengths measuring 35, 38, and 17 inches wide. The edges of the ground are folded under twice and finished with a whip stitch. Condition: The embroidered wool has discolored. The ground is reinforced from the back with later darning and applied patches; replacement wool threads are embroidered through these areas. The top back edge of the bed rug is reinforced with a strip of doubled cotton.
Inscription: "LORRAINE/ COLLINS/ 1786" is cross-stitched in yellow above the large central flower.
Object Number: 2003.6.0
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