The History of Chenille


Following is a little (very little) about the history of the chenille bedspread.

The bedspread some of us remember as a child (me included) started in the 1890's by a young girl named Catherine Evans. She was inspired by an older tufted bedspread which had gone out of fashion.

She started making them by hand when she was just 15 years old near Dalton, Georgia. She started out with cotton sheeting and stitched thick yarn in her own created patterns, mostly taken from quilt patterns. Then the finished product was boiled to make the sheeting shrink and hold the tufting in place.

It’s very easy to spot a homemade one as they are not exactly symmetric, examine the back and you will see. I’ve seen simple lightly tufted ones and some with almost all over tufting.

In the 1930's the bedspread making went to the factories and were much easier to obtain. There were many well know companies making them including Cabin Crafts, Bates, Morgan Jones, and Hoffman. Many of the spreads aren’t marked by company name or the labels have been removed.

Then in the 60's they went out of favor again only to be revived again. There are many retailers selling new chenille bedspreads on the market now so if you don’t want used, you can have new. __________________________________________________________________






These pictures were all taken out of a 1950 Montgomery Ward catalog. The green one with the drapes costs 5.98, so did the drapes. The others ranged in price from about $4.98 to 12.79. They have a Bates "Valley Forge" in here for $25.00, quite pricey for that time in history. Please click on pics to enlarge.







These pictures were taken from a 1946 Montgomery Ward catalog. Oddly, there weren't any listed for sale, these were used on the beds for display. The beds were sure cheap though.








The first picture is of chenille rugs and toilet seat covers from the 1950 Montgomery Ward catalog. The other two pictures are of chenille rugs and toilet seat covers from the 1946 Montgomery Ward catalog. The top price was 3.89 for a bath set in 1950. In 1946 the sets ranged from 1.79 a set to 4.64 a set. Just a little tidbit on the history of chenille.


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