Our most iconic style, Martha Washington's Choice, has been around since 1940.  That was over 80 years ago, and yet this beautifully woven terry design continues to be our best seller.  Many people purchase terry bedspreads from us because they're nostalgic - people remember sleeping under similar vintage chenille bedspreads when they were children.  Others are hoping to finally replace an old, worn out spread that they've had for years.  For a long time, textured hobnail fabric was seen as a style of the past.  It's gorgeous, unique, and sentimental, but not necessarily trendy.  

A vintage advertisement for Martha Washington's Choice, pulled from Bates archives.

In recent years, that thought has been changing. Interior design trends are embracing unique, artisan weaves that showcase natural materials and the hand of the weaver.  Lush rooms with lots of pattern and texture play are replacing the clean, minimal interiors of a few years ago.  There is a renewed interest in craft, driven by a desire to reconnect with where our objects come from, and who made them.

One of our Bates stitchers assembling Martha pillow shams.

Interestingly, the original creation story of the Martha Washington's Choice bedspread is similarly inspired - even though it was so long ago.  On a visit to George Washington's estate, a Bates representative was struck by the beauty of a bedspread he saw there.  It was woven entirely by hand, using an ancient knot-weaving technique, but he was determined to see if it could be recreated at Bates.  Bates designers and loom technicians were indeed able to resurrect the technique, and two years later the first Martha Washington's Choices were in production.  Although the fabric was mechanically woven, its nubbly texture honored the craft of hand weavers hundreds of years before.

Martha Washington's Choice weaving on our looms today.

Incorporating high texture textiles (like our terry bedspreads or throws) into your home can add subtle, elegant visual interest without being overwhelming.  They also add warmth to a room and make it feel inviting.  In 2021, we want to see and feel the hand of the maker in what we buy and use everyday.  Our Martha Washington's Choice, and other styles in our terry collection, have truly become heirloom textiles fit for the modern home.  

February 05, 2021 — Adrienne Beacham

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