|President Roosevelt's Vest
(coat and vest set)
Fabric woven by Nelly Johannesen.
In 1934, Nelly Johannesen, housekeeper at Val-Kill from 1928 to 1930, founded Val-Kill Weavers with the support of Eleanor and the Val-Kill name. Eleanor and her business partners wanted to add a weaving program to Val-Kill. When they learned of Nelly's interest in weaving, they sent her to Asheville, North Carolina, to learn to operate the loom acquired for Val-Kill Industries. Although the weaving program was initially planned as part of Val-Kill Industries, it became an independent operation.
This suit was made from cloth produced by Nelly Johannesen for President Roosevelt's birthday, January 30, 1935. The following day, a front-page headline of the New York Times read "Roosevelt Wears Homespun Suit as Visitors Hail 53rd Anniversary."
Wool. L 6.2, W 5.3 cm.
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historical Site, HOFR 1590