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Rachel Simard handwoven catalogne

Identifier: MCC-00487

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of one machine woven French-Canadian catalogne blanket made by Rachel Simard of Edmundston, N. B. The catalogne/blanket is of white and light gray cotton and measures 90 inches long by 58 inches wide.


  • Creation: 2008-00-00
  • Other: 2008-00-00

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes


Weaving on a loom was one of the daily chores of the Madawaska pioneers in the first part of the 19th century and of their descendants in the hundred years that followed. Only in the last half-century has what was formerly a common household task became perceived as a craft; looms are now found in only a very few homes.

The making of woven pieces on the loom still has the same requirements today as then, and it is still women, who excel at this craft. These woven pieces were flax fabrics, textile cloth and rugs or blankets made from rags (known as “catalognes”). All weaving requires placing a filling thread (the weft) at right angles to parallel foundation threads (called warp) which are strung the length of the loom. The basic operation is to string the warp thread first and then weave the weft thread over and under (with a shuttle) across the loom. The resulting fabric is used to make shirts, sheets, tablecloths and towels.

A French-Canadian blanket called a “catalogne”, an article produced on a loom, was made with strips of old clothes. These catalognes are still made in Madawaska and can be admired in craft fairs. It is a kind of weaving made of cotton and strips of rags. It was used as a rug to decorate the floor or as a blanket for warmth. To understand the importance of the loom for Madawaska inhabitants, especially between 1785 and 1850 or so, it is necessary to know that these courageous pioneers made almost everything by hand, being too poor or having too far to go to buy clothes and other woolen goods.


0.82 Cubic Feet (1 large box)

Language of Materials

No linguistic content; Not applicable

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Item was bought to be part of the Acadian Archives permanent exhibit.

Anne Chamberland
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Acadian Archives Repository

University of Maine at Fort Kent
23 University Drive
Fort Kent ME 04743 United States