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Color Blanket

This is a Color blanket. It was manufactured by American Woolen Company. It is dated ca. 1940 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is wool, acetate and its technique is twill weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

At the time this color blanket was woven, the American Woolen Company was at the height of its productivity, producing enormous quantities of wool twills for men’s and women’s fashions. As a tool used by textile mills in the development of a color palette, this blanket shows the incredibly broad range of colors under consideration for production. The blanket is woven in two pieces: the larger crosses fifty-four different warp configurations with fourteen wefts, resulting in 308 differently colored samples. The smaller crosses thirty-two warps with 3 wefts, giving 96 additional options. Normally, the selected colors would be cut from the blanket and returned to the mill for production. This blanket remains intact as an important demonstration of the process of color development.
Color blankets are of particular interest to Cooper Hewitt because teh reveal the process of developoing 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 Clif Lund-Rollins.

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

  • Poster, Specimen
  • offset lithograph on paper.
  • Gift of Fanette Mellier.
  • 2013-18-1

Its dimensions are

H x W: 184.2 × 149.9 cm (6 ft. 1/2 in. × 59 in.)

Cite this object as

Color Blanket; Manufactured by American Woolen Company; wool, acetate; H x W: 184.2 × 149.9 cm (6 ft. 1/2 in. × 59 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of Clif Lund-Rollins; 2016-35-84

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108711711/ |title=Color Blanket |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=30 January 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>