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Shawls Represented in the Rexford Costume Research Archive

The shawls represented here have been studied and recorded as  a part of the personal research archive of Costume Historian Nancy Rexford. Ms. Rexford maintains card files with notes and photographs representing objects she has studied in collections across the United States. The shawls are divided into 18 different sections, sorted by style motifs which relate to specific time periods. 

View all shawls represented in the Rexford Costume Research Archive, in chronological order. 

In over 30 years of consulting work, Ms. Rexford has collected materials that serve as an impressive finding aid both to women's fashion periodicals from the late 18th to early 20th century and to original objects that are in small collections all across the country. 

Ms. Rexford's card files are organized by item type, representing objects from a multitude of different collections, large and small, across the country. Looking through the objects represented here in chronological order, one can more easily see subtle variations in fashion over time. There are currently 24 boxes of cards, representing an estimated 5,000 objects with an estimated 9,000 images. 


Example items from this collection (see all)

Long narrow shawl with  green field and end border with red figure, pattern damaged
Long narrow shawl with green field; end border with red figure, pattern damaged; drawloom; twill weave with additional continuous patterning wefts; warp of silk; weft of wool. Originally made in Europe.

Long narrow shawl with  green field and end border with 8 rows of red botehs
Long narrow shawl with green field; end border with 8 rows of red botehs; drawloom; twill weave with additional continuous patterning wefts; warp of silk; weft of wool. Originally made in Europe.

Long  shawl with  white field and end border with three rows of blue and red botehs
Long shawl with white field; end border with three rows of blue and red botehs; hand weaving; twill tapestry weave; warp of wool; weft of wool. Originally made in India.

Long  shawl with  white field and end border with dense sprigs in blue
Long shawl with white field; end border with dense sprigs in blue; hand weaving; twill tapestry weave; warp of wool; weft of wool. Originally made in India; worn by Betsey Barr; worn in America.

Long  shawl with  brown field and  border with narrow borders and corner motifs
Long shawl with brown field; border with narrow borders and corner motifs; drawloom; twill weave with additional continuous patterning wefts; warp of silk; weft of wool. Originally made in Europe.

Square  shawl with  white field and  border with sprigs with red and green botehs
Square shawl with white field; border with sprigs with red and green botehs; drawloom; twill weave with additional continuous patterning wefts; warp of silk; weft of wool. Originally made in Europe.

Square  shawl with  green field and  border with red/pink borders and sprigs
Square shawl with green field; border with red/pink borders and sprigs; drawloom; twill weave with additional continuous patterning wefts; warp of silk; weft of wool. Originally made in Europe; worn by Janette Griswold (Mrs. Oliver) Walker.

Square  shawl with  white field and  border with stripes and sprigs of red and blue, triangular corner motifs
Square shawl with white field; border with stripes and sprigs of red and blue, triangular corner motifs; drawloom; twill weave with additional continuous patterning wefts; warp of cotton; weft of wool. Originally made in Europe.

Square  shawl with  white field and  border with ribbon-bow corner motif in blue
Square shawl with white field; border with ribbon-bow corner motif in blue; hand weaving; twill tapestry weave; warp of wool; weft of wool. Originally made in India; worn by Eliza (Betsey) Clarke; worn in America.

Square moon shawl with blue-sprigged white field and  border with densely patterned medallions
Square moon shawl with blue-sprigged white field; border with densely patterned medallions; hand weaving; twill tapestry weave; warp of wool; weft of wool. Originally made in India; worn by Mary Adams Saunders; worn in America.