top of page
19th c Hand Loomed Woven Bolton Quilt

19th C Hand Loomed "Caddow" Counterpane

Beautiful antique Lancashire (Bolton) woven cotton "bedspread" know colloquially as a "caddow" or "caddy" or generally in the era as a counterpane.  It is hand loomed and dates between 1810-1840.


This rare woven counterpane is shown on a UK king size bed and is 90 inches wide and 96 inches long- and it is woven in one piece, without any seams to piece it together- which was very unusual for the time and made these quite sought after. There is a very decorative and intricate hand-made fringe added around three sides which adds approximately eight inches in length.

The "knops" which form the designs are created by the weaver using a hook or pick to pull up a small loop from a secondary weft thread and the weavers became so highly skilled that they could even add names, special dates or commemorations to the caddows. The design on our quilt is particularly lovely and has all the hallmarks and emblems one would expect to see such as roses, garlands, Pine trees, undulating vines, foliage and much more surrounding the central decorative circle. The Bolton caddows have a code in one corner and ours is "S SF 12" which historians beleive to represent the initial of the weaver, the quality of the product (SF stands for Super Fine) and the 12 represents the width in quarter yards.


This charming piece of English history is in lovely condition but due to it's age it has some issues.  There are some random areas of approximately an inch or two in size where a darn or a patch on the back is needed to prevent further issue.  As the weave around these areas remain strong  they are not causing immediate concern and they are noted for accuracy.

There are numerous fascinating repairs; some solely for preservation such as a very long length of uncut mid 20th c  cotton washing care labels, sewn face down so that text wouldn't be seen,  around the underside of the edges for strengthening.  Some "repairs" we know were done between 1890-1920 based of fabrics used as reinforcement.  There are several areas where narrow widths of fabric were added on the back , particularly along the top edge where the spread would have been grasped and pulled up on the bed. They are extremely well done. There are some darns; most small and one about 10 by 5 inches at the bottom.  It is in remarkable condition for it's age and some of that is because of the women who added these small "reinforcements" to care for this superb textile.

We have plenty of photos if you would like to see more detail and if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

UK postage £12.00


    bottom of page