National Museum of the American Coverlet

National Museum of the American Coverlet

Speciality Museums
Read more
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Write a review
About
NMAC is the only full-time, year-round, independent institution devoted to the display, preservation and study of antique American woven coverlets (bedcovers). The Museum is open seven days a week. Visitors are given an informal talk about the coverlets they'll be seeing. Questions are encouraged. Currently, the (approximately 1,000+) collection includes coverlets made between 1771 and 1889. Exhibitions change periodically. Generally there are about 80 to 100 coverlets on display along with "period" beds and bedding, and spinning and weaving equipment including looms and a rare Jacquard head. We are located in a former Common School building (dating to 1859) in the historic district of downtown Bedford, PA. And yes, there is a museum gift shop!
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
92 reviews
Excellent
73
Very good
16
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
1

oscar1592
Madison24 contributions
Jun 2021
Enjoyed the many coverlets and displays of the equipment used to make them. The curator was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot talking with him. Having this museum in the historical school is a good use of the building.
Written June 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

William S
Ridgway, PA1 contribution
Mar 2020
Very unique and interesting examples of period craftsmanship, its evolution and the machine ages effect on it. Beautiful examples of coverlets and the tools used in its manufacturing are on display. We now see many of these items in antique stores and stored away in trunks, but don’t understand the pride of place these once held in the home, where they were both a necessity and a form of art. Check it out.
Written February 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marianne D
9 contributions
Sep 2020 • Solo
Lovely surprise. Don’t be fooled by the building appearance; it is open. Park on the side and enter through the front door. I thought I would be looking at quilts but was property educated otherwise. If you enjoy textiles, you will enjoy looking at the coverlets, currently from New England. They change the displays in the spring. I was educated on the difference between the geometric designs of the loam versus the Jaquard (?) French method that allowed any design. The coverlets are in superb condition. Not a hugh place so if you like to read about all the designs it will take awhile but if you are just a “looker” it could be fairly swift. At you own pace museum. I was greeted by a lovely gentleman who gave me the quick history lesson.
Written September 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for your kind comments. It was delightful meeting you - come back soon!
Written September 15, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Melissa N
Indianapolis, IN59 contributions
Jun 2015 • Family
Gentleman in office was rude from the start. We walked in and our six year old touched a spinning wheel which did not have a sign or rope on it. He responded with "Do not let the children touch anything!" Then when my daughter got more than a few steps from me he said "Do not let the children roam". We turned around and walked out. Disappointed because the reviews said it was cool but he never even asked us if we wanted a tour. Stay away if you have kids.
Written June 23, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chucksim
NE Ohio15 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
Textiles usually aren't my sort of thing, but there were a couple of interesting things about this. First thing I should mention was our tour guide, an elderly Hungarian gentleman named Laszlo. He is very knowledgeable about coverlets and their connection to American History and it shows, and his passion for these subjects keeps one’s attention. There is another interesting thing, this being the Jacquard punch card system invented in France around 1799 which used a punch card system for the coverlet patterns, a predecessor to the system used on early computers centuries later. This was much faster than the earlier looms used for producing coverlets and enabled much more complex designs. Much more interesting than I would have thought, well worth the time and price of admission.
Written October 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cochon
Newtown, PA106 contributions
Mar 2012 • Couples
I took my wife to the National Coverlet Museum because, well, that's the kind of thing she's into. As it was her birthday, I went along figuring if I gritted my teeth hard enough it would be okay. When we drove up and saw its location in a gloomy former school building, my heart sank even further.

After that, it was actually pretty interesting even for me, and a delight for my wife. The older Hungarian gentleman who runs the place is a grand raconteur, along with the obvious skill of knowing the überspecialized history of coverlets inside out. It was a slow day, so we got a personal tour that ran for hours because both my wife and I found it to be fascinating in large part because it was so interestingly presented. The "first digital computer" is one of the exhibits, and it's for real: an ancient coverlet machine that used the first punch cards, like mainframes relied on before around 1980.

Bottom line, if you or somebody with you has any interest in historic textiles, go. There's simply nothing else quite like it in the world.
Written May 4, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MGF88
Falls Church, VA89 contributions
Oct 2012 • Friends
American history viewed through the development of the woven bedspread. Who knew it could be so totally fascinating?!
Written April 17, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karen H
84 contributions
Jul 2019 • Family
Fascinating history of the American coverlet. Take time to listen to Laszlo’s talk. We learned so much from him. Wonderful collection of looms, spinning wheels and coverlets. The artistry of the coverlets on display is superb. Definitely worth the $10 donation. Love that they are preserving the old schoolhouse. Got to see them working on restoring some old looms.
Written July 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much, Karen. You and your group were wonderful. It was a pleasure visiting with you. We are always very happy to spend time with folks who are interested in the coverlets and their history. Come back again soon!
Written July 31, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cary H
Williamsburg, VA34 contributions
Sep 2015
My husband has an old coverlet in his family, and since we were staying nearby we decided to drop by the museum to try to find out a bit more about this heirloom. I had no interest in coverlets (or sewing or quilting of any kind) other than this. Now, however, after a terrific half-hour guided tour of the museum, I do! Not only were the coverlets on display really lovely, but our guide gave us a fascinating account of how they are made with some interesting socio-economic history woven in (if I may put it that way!) Thoroughly enjoyed our 40 minutes here as a way of feasting my eyes and expanding my general knowledge of this craft. I think adults and children 5 and up would enjoy this....kids would like the brightly colored quilts and would enjoy spotting various animals and figures on them.
Written September 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sjaenrdryy
Indiana, PA15 contributions
My friend and I visited this museum today. We didn't expect to learn so much about coverlets and how they fit into our American history. Boy, were we surprised!! What a great museum! Our tour guide knew everything about coverlets and took his time to answer our questions. We also enjoyed looking at the 1859 school the museum uses as it's home. If you have an extra hour or two in Bedford..check it out. You won't be disappointed.
Written May 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 91
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

National Museum of the American Coverlet (Bedford) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about National Museum of the American Coverlet

National Museum of the American Coverlet is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Mon - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM