This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Coverlet. Quilt, coverlid, coverlet, counterpoint and counterpane at different times have been used to describe the same article. Our Saxon ancestors were not so nice in their night garments as we are. As a matter of fact, they lay during the night destitute of clothing, which we find denounced in the practice of servants throwing their chemises at candles to put them out. The bed for the common people was a trough filled with straw, and over this was placed a skin or cloak, which is said to have been called a cover-lid. Painted or embroidered coverlids for the nobility were termed chalons, from their having been originally brought from Chalons, a town in France. The trade of making these bed coverings brought about the current surname of chaloner. In 1454 an Act of Parliament related that York City had been formerly supported by sundry handicrafts, and most principally by making coverlets and coverings for beds, whereby great numbers of inhabitants and poor people in that city and suburbs have been constantly employed. But that of late years "sundry evil-disposed persons, apprentices not expert in that occupation, had withdrawn themselves out of that city into the county, and divers other persons inhabiting the villages and towns of that county and nigh to the said city, have intermeddled with the said craft, and do daily make coverlets, neither of good stuff or proper size and do hawk and sell them abroad in the country, to villages and men's houses, etc., to the great deceit of the King's subjects," therefore it was enacted, that no person whatever, within or nigh to the county of York, shall make any coverlets for sale, but inhabitants alone dwelling within the city of York and its suburbs.