By: Jenna Tedrick Kuttruff
Detailed analyses of three Acadian quilts from Louisiana resulted in the identification of a total of eighty-nine different handwoven cotonnade fabrics that were locally produced for use as clothing and household textiles. These heavy patchwork quilts provide otherwise unobtainable examples of handwoven Acadian fabrics, especially those used in garment construction. Typical Acadian cotonnade fabrics are plain-weave and are made almost exclusively from white, natural-brown, and indigo-dyed cotton yarns. Although the quilts are crudely constructed, the spinning and weaving evidenced in the fabrics are very consistent and well done. Acadian weavers produced an astonishing variety of fabrics while minimizing the time and labor involved in their production. They also minimized their time and labor in the construction of the quilts. Just like pieces of a puzzle, cotonnade in patchwork quilts provides data that can be used to help complete the picture of Acadian life in Louisiana.