John Kachel Rugs

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John Kachel Rugs – The renowned American designer John Kachel (1809-1889) was one of many independent designers and weavers operating in the Northeast and Midwest United States during the nineteenth century. A shrewd businessman as well as a uniquely talented individual, Kachel produced jacquard coverlets and ingrain carpets for wealthy clients. Producing unique area rugs and carpets, Kachel soon developed a following of influential patrons. Among those who commissioned work from Kachel: the well-known British activist Elizabeth Fry, who could afford this prestigious luxury.

Kachel’s work is truly exemplary, and represents a singular development in the American weaving tradition.There is little that is known about Kachel’s personal life, but historians believe he was of German or Pennsylvania Dutch or “Deutsch” ancestry; the evidence for this stems from his last name, which is in fact a phonetic translation of cochel or tile. This etymology is common among ethnically German families from Pennsylvania. John Kachel designed and wove ingrain carpets and approximately 19 coverlets between 1835 and 1860. Fortunately, one woven inscription with the maker’s name and client’s name also shows that Kachel lived in Robeson Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, adding credence to historical speculation.

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