Coverlet "Bed Rugg", New Brunswick
Date of Issue
April 30, 1993
Series Time Span
Perforation or Dimension
13 x 12.5
Designed by Peter Adam Based on a photograph by Michael Mitchell Based on a coverlet by Elizabeth S. Mackie
To mark the Year of the Craft in the Americas, the commemorative stamps dedicated to the rich textile traditions of Canada will be issued April 30. Today, these types of hand-crafted textiles are fashionable and decorative items adding accent, mood and distinction to a room. Occasionally displayed on walls, they have become "objets d'art". Hundreds of years ago they were mostly - if not strictly - made for warmth and comfort. Their decorative function was to cover bed furnishings during daytime. Quilts, coverlets, "ruggs" and bed cover existed from necessity and gained a place in history because of the techniques used, the rarity or the uniqueness of a piece and mostly as a reflection of a people's talent and culture. All of the items selected can be viewed by the public as each is housed in a Canadian public museum collection. Unlike the early settlers' quilts, the bed ruggs were not made from leftovers, but carefully conceived in advance. The term "bed ruggs" - with two "g's" - was used to help differentiate it from a floor rug. It was meant to cover the bed furnishings in daytime and although the term "rugg" fell into disuse, the Museum identified it as such to clarify the description of this c.1800 piece. Originally thought to be an American piece brought by Loyalists, textile authority Dorothy Burnham identified it as Canadian. For one, the technique was needle work in double stitched pile, whereas U.S. pieces generally have a simple running stitch. Secondly, its structure was wool on a tabby weave with the two breadths seamed vertically. Its shape is rectangular unlike American coverlets, and the amount of wool exceeded that found in American pieces.
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, No. 10, 1993, p. 7-10.
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