A standard set of bedding in the late eighteenth century included a pair of blankets, sheets, and a coverlet. Rose blankets derived their name from the colorful, abstract designs, often called roses or rosings, embroidered at their corners. Produced in a variety of widths and qualities, they were acquired by a broad range of consumers, from Native Americans to the Anglo-American elite. Only tattered yarns survive to give a sense of the original decoration on this blanket, which family tradition maintains came from Mount Vernon. George Washington's accounts specify purchases of rose blankets in the 1790s, although this and other examples at Mount Vernon possibly date earlier.


Blanket of plain-woven, napped, cream-colored wool cloth with remnants of embroidered roses or medallions at each corner; 14 tpi (warp) x 22 tpi (weft); ½" felled hems at each end, stitched down with linen thread; selvedges are marked by three warps of thick, 3-ply yarn on each side; at each corner, a circle is outlined in dark brown yarn; the surviving remnants of yellow, olive green, and coral pink wool yarn indicate that the design consisted of a circle that was divided into a grid of nine spaces, with a square at center featuring a star design of green, pink, and dark brown yarn, surrounded by four blocks with a feathered design embroidered in green along the axis of the weft and pink along the axis of the warp, and four corner sections with a feathered design embroidered in yellow; in each corner, between the rose and the long side of the blanket are the remains of several stitches in rose-colored Z-twist thread; on one side, the rose colored stitches form the numeral "VI". While there are numerous areas that have been reinforced with darning or modern conservation, one spot at the center of one long side has been patched using what appears to be a scrap from another rose blanket, as it shows the remnants of yellow and brown wool yarns and has a similar weave structure.





Wool, linen


Overall (H x W x D): 90 in. x 79 3/4 in. (228.6 cm x 202.57 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1956

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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