Behind Factory Doors: The Making of a Lightweight Terry Bedspread - New England Tradition March 30, 2015 05:26

The New England Tradition is a lightweight terry bedspread currently woven by Maine Heritage Weavers that we feature in our Terry Collection.

Featuring a large, centrally located medallion, this design is a beautifully rendered geometric interpretation of natural phenomena native to New England.  Flowers, pine trees, mountains, leaves, and branches have been reduced to simple shapes reminiscent of Native American patterns and design motifs.  

As with terry weaves (also called Hobnail or Candlewick), the image is formed by loops being pulled upward from the fabric weave.  Today, this bedspread is available in White and Antique colors, and has a "Fancy Knot Fringe.”

Unfortunately, the exact creation date of the design in unknown, and the story behind its development has also been lost over the years.  Originally woven by Bates, it is believed that this design was initially of a heavier weight and first went by the name "American Tradition."  Despite the fact that its birthdate remains a mystery, a promotional page from the mid-1950's shows that this style has been gracing peoples' bedrooms for at least 65 years.

Over the course of this design's history, it has gone by many different names and style numbers.  In the left-hand corner, the 1950's advertisement shows a record of the names and numbers being used at the time:

S/2052 - “American Tradition”

S/2053 - “American Pine Tree”

S/2054 - “Jeffersonian”

S/2055 - “American Heritage”

Throughout the years, these same names and numbers have been recycled in a variety of combinations, depending on where the bedspread was being carried.  

Another promotional page, this one most likely dating from the mid-1990's, carries the label "American Pine Tree."  During this time, Bates had re-formed into Bates of Maine, whose logo and name can be seen in the bottom left corner. Many customers may recognize this bedspread as one featured on the shelves of the popular department store, JCPenney.

 

It was in July of 2011 that this style got the name it holds today. Maine Heritage Weavers was notified that the name "American Tradition" was legally registered and held by another company overseas.  In honor of Bates' proud New England heritage, the spread was renamed "New England Tradition."

To browse all colors and sizes, visit New England Tradition Bedspread.

Did we miss anything or do you have your own personal stories? Be sure to share them in the comments.