Texas Tech University

Household Textiles

cover for coffee maker embroidered with woman and early or late it's coffee time
1960s coffee maker cover embroidered by Minnie Jeans (Mrs. Luther). Gift of Dr. Robert Bradley, TTU-H2016-022-002

Household textiles for the purposes of this site are coverlets and other textile items used to decorate the home. Many of these were embellished with embroidery. In the Victorian era, people sought to cover every flat surface of the home and many beautiful embroidered table scarfs survive. The modern era decried such clutter, but embroidered pieces continued to be made to protect wood surfaces, such as tables, and as pillowcases. Cotton sacks in which feed, flour and sugar came were prime sources of free fabric to turn into towels and many were embroidered. As tastes changed and women's time for keeping embroidered pieces clean diminished, due to work outside the home, these pieces became museum objects rather than items used everyday. The beautiful handwork on these household linens raise them from mere functional objects to those of beauty and a slate on which folk art was created.


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