At the time of her death in 1802, Martha Washington owned well over 100 towels. This example is probably from the set of 24 "brown Towels", likely referring to the color of their unbleached linen cloth, listed in her probate inventory. Household linens such as sheets, napkins, tablecloths, clothes, and towels often featured embroidered marks indicating the identity of their owner. This towel features a reversible cross stitched "W.n" for Washington.


Square linen towel with self fringe; towel ground made from unbleached and plain woven linen; two threads dyed blue run parallel to the four edges of the square; the break between the fabric and the fringe is reinforced with a whip-stitch at top and bottom.







Overall: 26 in. x 24 1/2 in. x 1/16 in. (66.04 cm x 62.23 cm x 0.15 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Charles Eliot Furness, Vice Regent for Minnesota and Mrs. Henry W. Rogers, Vice Regent for Maryland, 1915


Marking stitch in the upper left: "W.n"

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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