Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.


  • Work on this object ended.


  • We acquired this object.



  • You found it!

Color Blanket

This is a Color blanket. It is dated 1929–1953 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is worsted wool and its technique is plain weave and twill variations. It is a part of the Textiles department.

A color blanket is typically a manufacturing tool, used by textile designers and mills in the development and selection of a color palette. This handwoven example was used as a teaching tool at the Lowell Textile Institute (today part of the University of Massachusetts - Lowell). Showing variations of worsted wool in plain weave, twill, and many variations, the blanket demonstrates how yarn color and weave structure interact to create subtly varied colors and textures. The hand weaver snipped the warp threads and replaced them with different colors as the weaving progressed, a time-consuming technique that would not be seen in a commercial color blanket. Eight different warp combinations and pattern threadings are crossed with eight wefts to give sixty-four different woven designs.
Color blankets are of particular interest to Cooper Hewitt because they reveal the process of developing a color palette for production, demonstrate the complex interaction between color and weave structure, and provide a more visually dynamic was to exhibit solid-color fabrics.

This object was donated by American Textile History Museum. It is credited American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of John Goodwin.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 160 × 75.6 cm (5 ft. 3 in. × 29 3/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Color Blanket; worsted wool; H x W: 160 × 75.6 cm (5 ft. 3 in. × 29 3/4 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of John Goodwin; 2016-35-83

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108711709/ |title=Color Blanket |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>