Laurie Coat


A former fashion model, Herrick maintained an ongoing interest in body coverings and garments that created a contemporary silhouette while showcasing a textile, such as an Indian kurta or Persian kaftan. Simultaneously reminiscent of a traditional Scandinavian “bog jacket,” modern Japanese garments and the couture coats created in the 1960s by Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895–1972), the “Laurie Coat” became a staple of Herrick’s teaching – and her own wardrobe.

Featured with weaving instructions in Weaving You Can Wear (Jan Burhen and Jean Wilson, 1973), the Laurie Coat is woven directly on the loom rather than created through cut sections as one might do with fabric by the yard. This means weaving pieces that require only minimal off-loom stitching to move the form from a shaped, flat and rectangular-based woven textile into a wearable garment. In her later developments, she incorporated loom-controlled darts and tapering sleeves to create a form-flattering fit.

Once adjusted to the weaver’s skill level and the proportions of the wearer, nearly any (or multiple) weaves could be combined to create this loom-controlled body covering. Given current interests in the handmade, customization and sustainability, made-to-fit loom-controlled garments such as Herrick’s can provide a springboard for tactile, beautiful and minimally-wasteful garments today.

Herrick Special Features ...

Op Art
Open Warp
Laurie Coat
Summer and Winter on Opposites
Summer and Winter Straight
Summer and Winter Polychrome

Return to the Laurie Herrick exhibition page to download writings, exhibition checklist and research documents.