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This large fragment consists of 9 smaller pieces sewn together, many at the selvedge.

The fabric is a taffeta alternating between light green and a gradient of deep turquoise to orange covered in black supplementary warp floats. The ground structure of the fabric is a balanced plain weave, using white wefts and colored warps. The black stripes are created with supplementary warp floats that float above seven structural wefts for a width of 6 warps. The floats are tied down underneath one weft to create small lines that show the gradient colors beneath. The flowers are made visible by moving the floats to the reverse so the ground fabric is shown. Details on the flowers are made by floating the structural, white wefts for short spaces. The black stripes are edged in bright magenta in a 7/1 warp-faced satin weave. The satin floats are not supplementary.

The selvedge along the left edge of the lower, left-most piece is pressed under and basted 1/4 inch from the crease. It is basted with a running stitch in white Z-spun 2-ply S thread. Though there is no seam between the left-most piece and the next piece, there is evidence that there was at one point. Both edges are selvedges, and the remaining thread is white A-spun 2-ply S, which is present in the other current seams, indicated this removed seam is from the same piecing. The left edge had a 1/4 inch allowance while the right edge had a 3/8 inch allowance.

The next seam to the right is only intact for 9 inches, starting 10 inches from the upper, horizontal seam. It is held in the same Z-spun 2-ply S as seen in the last seam and simply basted together with long running stitches. The right-most seam is closed at the top for 8 1/2 inches, then open for 24 3/4 inches, then closed for 6 3/4 inches, then open until the bottom (3 1/2 inches). It too is basted with long running stitches in the same thread.
The right-most seam of the upper portion is made along two cut edges instead of selvedges.

There is evidence of a creased seam approximately 1 inch from the right edge of the right-most upper piece. A pressed-under seam is also evident across the top of the entire object. Though it is no longer pressed under on the right 3 pieces, the seam was once held by a thin Z-spun 2-ply S white thread. Stitch lines are evident along the top and bottom of the horizontal seam, 3/8 inch from where the seam is now.

A rust-colored Z-spun 2-ply S thread is inserted into the second-to-the-right lower piece and can also be seen the seam to the left of that piece. The thread is thicker than that used for the basting. There is also a bright yellow Z-spun 2-ply S thread inserted into the right-most on the 6th stripe from the left. Close to the rust-colored thread, a thin, white Z-spun 2-ply S thread is inserted into the seam. This may be the original construction thread.

There are 8 stitch lines evident at the bottom of the lower right piece, 5 stitch lines in the piece to the left of that, and one stitch line in the piece to the left of that. Several of the stitch lines cross the seams, which may suggest that the lower piece are arranged in their original configuration.


Silk (taffeta)


Overall (H x W): 64 1/2 in. x 55 in. (163.83 cm x 139.7 cm)
Other (Fabric width (selvedge to selvedge)): 18 5/8 in. (47.31 cm)
Other (Lower Portion H x W): 43 in. x 64 1/2 in. (109.22 cm x 163.83 cm)


Gift of Robert Griffith Carter, Jr., 1960

Object Number



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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