Saturday, September 12, 2015

Horsehair Fabric

Many moons ago, I worked at a French Colonial Plantation in Baton Rouge.  Sitting up on the ridge was this plain but elegant late 1700's-early 1800's home.
You wonder why I bring this up now--well, the other day, I was browsing the Internet--you always come across some interesting and astounding facts and fiction there!--anyway, back to the subject at hand.
My browser took me to this website about horsehair----I was reminded of my past history with this plantation.
In the parlor in this lovely little home was several pieces of horsehair upholstered pieces:

--A set of five American mahogany Classical style side chairs: Ca. 1820. New York. Each with a curving tablet crest between molded stiles which become the seatrails; horizontal back support with a central roundel flanked by foliate brackets; having a black pattern horsehair seat raised on saber legs
--An American Classical mahogany swivel piano stool: Ca. 1820-1830. Having a curving figured tablet crest and carved back support, the stiles sweep downward to form the seatrails; having a ring-turned support and three hipped and leaf-carved splayed legs ending with paw feet; the seat upholstered in black patterned horsehair

Since this was not one of those 'fancy' antebellum house of Civil War era,  docents spoke of the lifestyle and furnishings of the period.  Each room had a display piece and the one in the parlor was a horsetail so all could touch and feel.  Horsehair was a popular upholstery in that time period and for several years thereafter.  But, today, we don't see much of this elegant furniture.  In fact, I didn't know it was still being woven until I came across this video.

Have a look at this video: Horse Tales Vimeo Video by Nick Wilcox-Brown

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