Why Long Creek Mercantile?

After studying history at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I joined the staff of a small living history site.  With almost 20 years of experience in the living history field, I created Long Creek Mercantile, LLC so that I can continue to share my love for the history of the Carolina Backcountry.

Handwoven tape is my tribute to the women who settled the Carolina backcountry.

My ancestors settled the Carolina backcountry in the 18th century, many of them ending up in northern Mecklenburg County. I grew up in the Long Creek community where my family history goes back some two-hundred years.  Our family's oral history of life in log cabins and one-room school houses prompted my love for the history of the Carolina backcountry.

As a living historian I love to interpret the daily life of my ancestors who carved out lives for themselves in Mecklenburg county, known as a 'hornet's nest of rebellion' during the Revolutionary War.

I have long been drawn to handwoven tape.  Its simple beauty and countless uses showcase the craft and daily life skills of the women who lived in early America, most of whom raised their families on small farms.  Many of these households would have included a paddle or box tape loom, and women wove hundreds of yards of tape during their lives for the family needs.

Tape was used as binding for everything from grain sacks, wagon covers, crock cloths, petticoat ties, apron ties, stocking garters, straps, handles, decorative trim, and the list goes on. Historically, tape was woven with linen, silk, wool, hemp, or cotton (cotton more appropriate for 19th century tapes).  

 

The patterns were simple and included checked, ribbed, striped, and dash patterns.  Much tape was woven in one solid color.  These simple tapes were used for daily household and clothing needs.  Wider and more decorative tape patterns were used as well, and some women even made fringe tape for decorative trim.

I weave daily and try to keep a variety of tape in stock. However, I am glad to accept custom orders and have a large variety of colors and materials available.  Please message me with specific requests!