It was George Washington’s home for much of the Revolutionary War — a large oval-shaped tent that was his bedroom and office — the first “oval office” occupied by the first commander-in-chief of American military forces. Now Linenblue is helping to re-create it.
The original tent - a national treasure of the United States - will be displayed in the new Museum of the American Revolution when it opens in Philadelphia in 2016. This summer, it will be reproduced by Historic Trades tailors as part of a new partnership between Colonial Williamsburg and the Museum of the American Revolution. Once complete, the reproduction tent will be used by the Museum of the American Revolution for a variety of educational and museum outreach programs in advance of the opening of the Museum of the American Revolution.
Historical records suggest that the original sleeping and office tent was one of a pair of marquees made for General Washington in early 1778, at the end of the Valley Forge encampment. Washington returned to his Mount Vernon home with his tents and other military equipment in December 1783 after he resigned his commission. Following his death in 1799 and the death his wife, Martha, in 1802, Washington’s military effects, including the tents were sold at private auction to Martha’s grandson, George Washington Parke Custis. The tents were displayed periodically at the Custis home, Arlington House, during the ensuing decades until his death in 1857. While Union Army units occupied Arlington House during the Civil War, many of Washington’s military possessions were taken into federal custody until they were returned to the Custis/Lee family in the early 20th century. Various elements of Washington’s field headquarters are now held by institutions including the Museum of the American Revolution, the National Museum of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and the National Park Service.
“Unlike most military commanders, George Washington stayed in the field with his army through the entire War of Independence, spending just a few days at Mount Vernon between 1775 and 1783,” said Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, director of collections and interpretation for the Museum of the American Revolution. “For much of that time, he lived under canvas. With the surviving elements of Washington’s field headquarters scattered among various institutions, the reconstruction project is an exciting way—perhaps the only way—for visitors to experience the “other home” of George Washington.”
Fashioned from 160 yards of linen — woven to three different widths—and 90 yards of linen from Colonial Williamsburg’s Weave Room, all of the fabric for the reproduction tent is being woven to as close a match as possible to the original cloth.
From mid-May through mid-August, Colonial Williamsburg guests will be able to follow their progress publicly in the Secretary’s Office next to the Capitol in the Revolutionary City as tailors Mark Hutter and Neal Hurst along with six other seamsters as they assemble the linen canvas of the marquee and its chamber—the large outer tent and an enclosed smaller sleeping and office tent.
“It may seem surprising to have tailors make a tent, but it was actually part of the trade’s work until the late Medieval Period,” Hutter said. “By the 18th century, no tailor in America was making tents. When the American Revolution began, Williamsburg’s many tailors became deeply involved in supplying uniforms, flags, and tents. A couple of thousand tents were made by the capital city’s tailors.”
Several of Colonial Williamsburg’s trade shops also will be actively involved in reproducing the tent and its pieces. Carpenters and joiners will fashion wooden poles to support the structure. Blacksmiths will forge iron hardware and pole fittings. Wheelwrights will carve small wooden items and stakes to anchor the tent. The completed marquee will measure 22 feet long, 15 feet wide and ten feet high.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to use our expertise in the 18th-century trades,” said Jim Horn, Colonial Williamsburg vice president of research and historical interpretation. “Our guests will be able to see and experience the construction of the marquee, and we are delighted to partner with another museum to tell the story of the American Revolution on this project.”
The reproduction of the tent, and associated research on General Washington’s field equipment, is funded in part from a generous grant to the Museum of the American Revolution from the Acorn Foundation Fund for History in Memory of Alexander Orr Vietor.
In less than 2 weeks Linenblue will be announcing a major new custom fabric commission - that will result in the creation of an iconic and historic masterpiece.
We can't say too much just yet but we'll be giving media briefings in Northern Ireland - with our US customers - in early April. Media representatives should contact us on email@example.com and we can provided embargoed pre-announcement information.
Linenblue has today announced a new range of Irish Linen products - made from the finest optical white hand loomed Irish Linen.
Our new exclusive range combines the finest hand loomed Irish Linen with wonderful finishing to create a unique range of tableware.
These products are made to order from stock hand loomed cloth.
Jessica has dragged us into the Instagram scene and we now have a lovely Linenblue account showing lots of great photos of our gorgeous linen - as well as other things that inspire us. Truth is, photos look so fabulous on Instagram we think it's the ultimate gallery for us - and we'd like you to "fav" as many photos as you can. Also if you'd like to email us photos of our products in your home or restaurant or boardroom - please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll pop them on our Instagram account (if you'd like us to). Click on the little Instagram logo below to visit...
We now have a new range of Irish Linen inspired candles and soaps from Northern Ireland based bog standard.
Experience the elegant charm of Ireland with bog standard candles - the finest natural wax, hand poured for the ultimate flame and fragrance. Sure to help you unwind. Classic lavender is at the heart of this clean, sharp and best-selling 'Irish Linen' fragrance.
We also have triple-milled bog standard soap - for silky smooth seductive lather.
If you or someone you know has recently given birth to a new bundle of joy this could be the perfect gift idea.
At Just £20 including VAT it includes a painted birth certificate box by Rachel Bright and a Magic Linen Hankie.
The hankie is in pure linen and is lace-edged - finished with little satin bows.
This Imperial Double Damask Irish Linen Tablecloth by Thomas Ferguson is 183cm x 229cm and features a satin band pattern.
We only have one of these very rare tablecloths to sell - and it comes in its original packing box and Imperial Double Damask "belly band" wrapper. A very desirable piece for an Irish Linen connoisseur.
If you are that connoisseur you can buy it now.
One of our suppliers creates beautiful hand-loom creations using finest Irish Linen, local wool and, sometimes, imported silk. Often each piece is completely unique or produced in tiny quantities. Our Uniques collection will feature these little gems as and when we can get our hands on them. But don't delay - these products wont hang around for long.
Have at look at the Linenblue Uniques Collection Now
We're delighted to announce that with immediate effect we now offer free delivery on all UK orders. We'll despatch to any UK address using standard Royal Mail first class. Customers can also opt for Priority UK Delivery - which includes guaranteed day-after-despatch delivery and tracking. For non-UK customers we still offer very affordable shipping rates and free tracking for all orders over £100 in value.
We have just introduced a new line of unisex 100% linen bathrobes in both plain linen and Celtic linen damask. We have very limited stocks of these bathrobes at this fabulous price - so hurry. These bathrobes sell elsewhere for £99 and they're here for just £72. Buy Now