Call for Chenille Bedspreads  

What started as a donation of several old linens to the Door County Historical Society for its annual Heritage Village Rummage Sale will be featured as an exhibit titled, “Chenille Bedspreads,” during September 2017.

While sorting through the donated assortment of chenille bedspreads, a volunteer commented with enthusiasm, “Wouldn’t it make a neat exhibit?” The Historical Society agreed! Exhibit volunteers hope that the exhibit will evoke a “walk down memory lane.” Although our collection is varied, we are asking for your help. We have 16 different bedspreads, but would like to borrow about eight more in a variety of patterns and colors.

Chenille type yarn is a relatively new textile dating to the 18th century in France. Chenille is the French word for caterpillar. Just think of those fuzzy caterpillars creeping all over your bed! The bedspread industry was the key for economic development in northwest Georgia and Appalachia beginning in 1890. Use spread across small town America and were regularly advertised in Door County papers. The popularity of Chenille bedspreads recurs at various times in our history: 1890s, 1930s, 1950s, and again in the 1990s. This last revival appeared in quilting circles and is known as rag or slash quilts due to the frayed seams.

The exhibit will be on display in the Village Chapel at the Heritage Village at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan Street, in Sturgeon Bay from September 2 through September 30. If you have a chenille bedspread or any other chenille products i.e. varsity jacket with a fuzzy “V” or robes that you are willing to share for the month of September, contact Megan at (920) 421-2348 or

The Door County Historical Society is a membership organization dedicated to keeping history alive for future generations through the collection, preservation and sharing of the heritage of Door County. The Society operates two interpretive sites: Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park and the Heritage Village at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.

Media Contact: Trudy Herbst, (920) 421-2332

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