Shaker sisters wove, braided, knit, and crocheted a great variety of rugs.

Three exceptional examples of Shaker rug making in the collection of the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon share common technique and design that suggests they were made by the same hands.

  • 43” diameter
  • Wool and cotton
  • Accession Number 1957.8933.1

The main bodies of all three round rugs are made from knitted strips sewn together to form a spiral at the center surrounded by concentric circles. The outside edge of each rug is bound in braided cloth strips and all are backed by heavy blue denim to help them lay firmly flat on the floor. An identically constructed rug in a private collection shed light on the maker of these rugs. On the back of that rug is cross-stitched, “Made 1882 By Sister Elvira In Mar 88th Year.”

Sister Elvira Hulett (1805-1885), was a member of the Church Family at Hancock. Hulett is known to have been a weaver. Her skill at weaving may explain the rather complicated pattern employed in her knitting.

All three rugs (Accession Numbers: 1957.8574.1, 1957.8575.1, 1957.8933.1) were acquired from the Hancock Shakers through Sister Mary Dahm in 1957.