Preservation Long Island & Huntington Historical Society

Long Island’s Early Textile Industry


Blanket Statements: Long Island’s Early Weaving Industry on View at the Preservation Long Island Exhibition Gallery in Cold Spring Harbor


From Farm to Fabric: Early Woven Textiles of Long Island on Exhibit at the Huntington Historical Society History & Decorative Arts Museum in Huntington


May 25, 2023–October 8, 2023


Town of Huntington, NY (May, 10, 2023) — Opening later this month, a two-venue exhibition collaboration hosted by Preservation Long Island (PLI) and the Huntington Historical Society (HHS) will showcase early Long Island textiles.

The HHS’s exhibition, From Farm to Fabric: Early Woven Textiles on Long Island, curated by Emily Werner, looks closely at the materials, technology, and design of woven textiles produced in the home and in small-scale professional workshops across Long Island from the late eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century, while PLI’s exhibition, Blanket Statements: Long Island’s Early Weaving Industry, curated by Lauren Brincat, explores the social, political, and economic contexts of early industrial weaving and coverlet production on Long Island during the first half of the nineteenth century. Blanket Statements combines recent coverlet acquisitions with furniture, maps, and paintings from PLI’s collection in addition to key loans from the HHS and the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.


“We’ve enjoyed working on this collaborative project with our colleagues at HHS,” said Alexandra Wolfe, Preservation Long Island Executive Director.  “By combining our collections and expertise, we produced sibling exhibitions that provide the public with an enriched dual-perspective on an aspect of Long Island history through the art, craft, and business of textiles.”

“Long Island was at the forefront of coverlet production during the early 19th century. Highly skilled weavers created complex designs using innovative loom technology introduced by recent European immigrants. Beautiful and functional, these objects reflect the interwoven connections between people, materials, technology, and labor—both enslaved and free—across an ocean and generations” said Lauren Brincat, Preservation Long Island Curator.

“We are delighted to partner with Preservation Long Island to present this collaborative exhibit for our community. It was the perfect opportunity to be able to share pieces from the Huntington Historical Society’s extensive textile collection with the public. The Society is grateful to work with the team at Preservation Long Island, they are masters of their craft!” said Stephanie Gotard, Huntington Historical Society Executive Director.

“Coverlets are more than just fancy blankets. Studying these local textiles can tell us so much about early nineteenth-century life on Long Island. They represent the culmination of months of labor from many different hands, from growing flax and cotton or raising sheep, to spinning and dyeing the yarn, and to designing, weaving, and finishing the fabric. I love thinking about where the yarn and dyes came from, who wove the coverlets, and who stayed warm under them during chilly nights”, said Emily Werner, Curator Huntington Historical Society.


Exhibition Programs and Events


Preservation Long Island:

Preservation Long Island Member Preview: Thursday, May 18, 2023 from 4PM to 6PM

Exhibition Opening Reception: Thursday, May 25, 2023 from 4PM to 6PM

Self-Guided Tours: Thursdays to Sundays from 11AM to 4PM

Curator-Led Tour: Saturday, July 8, 2023 at 11AM (pre-registration and tickets required)

In addition, Private Group Tours for Preservation Long Island members can be arranged during the run of the exhibition.

All Preservation Long Island hosted programs will take place at Preservation Long Island’s Exhibition Gallery located at 161 Main St. in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, unless otherwise specified. Registration and ticketing links are accessible on the Events page on their website.


Huntington Historical Society:

Talks over TeaJune 27, 2023 from 2 PM to 4 PM with Huntington Historical Society Curator Emily Werner at Conklin Barn at 2 High Street in Huntington.

Loom Weaving Demonstrations – Throughout the summer at the Arsenal on the old Town Green near the corner of Main Street and Park Avenue in Huntington. Check HHS website for dates and times.

Joint Virtual Programs including Lunch & Learn on August 10, 2023 are planned for August with additional details and dates to be announced on the HHS website.


To learn more about the exhibits visit:



Preservation Long Island programming is generously supported by members, trustees, and individual donors as well as by public and private grants and sponsorships. This exhibition is made possible in part through grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and by North Shore Quilting and Fiber Art, a local sponsor.

Huntington Historical Society programs are supported by partner organizations and sponsors including the Town of Huntington, Suffolk County Government, National Grid, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, M&T Bank and Huntington Hospital/Northwell Health.


Preservation Long Island

Preservation Long Island is a not-for-profit organization that works with Long Islanders to raise awareness, appreciation, and support for the protection of our shared past through advocacy, education, and the stewardship of historic sites and collections.


Preservation Long Island maintains and interprets historic sites and collections that embody various aspects of Long Island’s history including:

Joseph Lloyd Manor, Lloyd Harbor

Custom House, Sag Harbor

Sherwood-Jayne Farm, Setauket

Old Methodist Church and Exhibition Gallery


Huntington Historical Society

The Huntington Historical Society is the focal point for preserving the ongoing heritage of the Town of Huntington. We support this mission through public education programs, maintaining museums, collections, and a regional research center; promoting the preservation of historic buildings and sites; and by partnering with local and regional institutions.


Huntington Historical Society properties:

Trade School Building (built 1905)
​located at 209 Main Street

Home of our Administrative Offices and Archive & Resource Center.

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building (built 1892) located at 228 Main Street
Home of our History & Decorative Arts Museum

Conklin Farmhouse (built c. 1750) located at 2 High Street
Check website for open dates: Barn available for event rentals.

Kissam House (built 1795) located at 434 Park Avenue
Home of our Antiques & Collectibles Shop: Historic House open for special events. 




AAQ / Resource: Bruce Nagel + Partners Architects