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Inside The Design: The Shelburne Cotton Coverlet

Inside The Design: The Shelburne Cotton Coverlet

Our favorite part about designing most of our products in-house is the unique opportunity we get to witness each of our beloved designs come to be. From the initial concept all the way through to completion, it's such an honor to watch our product team dream up and create new modern heirlooms.

Lovingly named after a quaint East Coast town where this particular weaving style was born, our latest favorite, the Shelburne Cotton Coverlet, is a distinct design that blends and layers color to create a unique, geometric pattern. Below, we share the inspiration and story behind how this beloved coverlet, inspired by an early American weaving, came to be. 


Initial design concept for cotton coverlet.

Cotton coverlet on queen-sized bed.


Can you give us some insight into the design? How did the original concept for this coverlet come about?

We were inspired by the Winter + Summer Cotton Coverlet, which has been in the collection for several years now. This coverlet was designed using a vintage reference that was found by the product team at the time. It's an adaptation of traditional overshot. To explain, overshot is a style of weaving adapted from European techniques and largely made popular in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

That said, we wanted to bring another overshot inspired coverlet into the mix, and thought this was the perfect choice. 

 Initial design concept plans for cotton coverlet.

Person holding cotton coverlet to assess quality.


We love that the Shelburne is named after an East Coast town known for this particular weaving style. Can you walk us through how you first discovered this design? 

We like to celebrate American history and manufacturing at Schoolhouse. Overshot is a weaving technique that was popularized in New England at a time when women produced textiles for their own homes and for sale locally. Women worked collectively and shared resources in order to create these handwoven coverlets.  

"We think it's exciting to have the opportunity to celebrate these aspects of history here at Schoolhouse."

Bright and sunny bedroom with red and blue bedding on bed.


I'd love to hear more about the process of designing a piece like this! How many iterations did it go through? What does the process look like from initial concept to final product?

There are so many existing standard overshot patterns to choose from. We explored several before landing on this design. Once we landed here, we reviewed the scale of the pattern and the color, exploring several iterations before landing on this vibrant red and blue palette.


Cedar bunk beds made with blue and red contrasting bedding.


What do you think makes this coverlet so special?

I think that bringing back these heirloom designs with the adaptations they require to play with scale, offers a new take on something really beloved.

Additionally, in our more modern interpretation of a vintage design, we love how the blue and red colors mix on the backside to create purple. This adds a fun complexity to this simple geometry, as well as an unexpected color palette!


Brightly colored bedroom with red floral wallpaper and matching bedding.


Are there any fun tidbits from the design process that you can share? 

As I was saying above, this coverlet is simply referencing an overshot pattern but is using a different weaving technique to achieve it. Therefore you get a completely new design!

Typically overshot coverlets used a thin cotton yarn and a thicker wool yarn to create the pattern. Our coverlet is 100% cotton and uses a double-weave technique to create the layers of color and pattern.


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