Old Order Mennonite, also known as Amish Mennonites or Buggy Mennonites, are a conservative religious group which separated from the Mennonite Church in the late 1800s because they wanted to maintain the *Old Order* ways of worship and community church life.
They use horse-drawn vehicles to both farm and drive to town, and so they are often referred to as Buggy Mennonites. The more progressive Old Order Mennonites allow gas powered tractors with metal tires (no rubber on the tires), and they drive black cars (but they paint the chrome bumpers black, so they will not be flashy). They speak Pennsylvania Dutch among themselves, and do not believe in evangelistic meetings or Sunday schools.
The womens dress code is small patterned below-the-knee length dresses, always covered with an apron to symbolize service (the apron can be in contrasting fabrics, and be separate from the dress). They wear various head coverings, different styles for the different districts, ranging from a white organdy mesh fabric bonnet style, to a small veil in black or white pinned to the hair. The men wear dark or black trousers and collared shirts, and hats that can range in style from the broad rimmed straw and black felt hats, to hats similar to those worn by the Blues Brothers (a 1940s style rimmed hat). The men wear no beards.
The Old Order Mennonite Quilter does her quilting for her home, her childrens school benefits, and to supplement her families income. Their children attend a local one-room schoolhouse within bicycle ride, or horse ride from their homes, run by the local church district (complete with outhouses). Frequently you can see the Old Order Mennonite young men and women riding on their bicycles to and from work, and on Meeting days, you will see horse and buggys with a bike rack attached to the back (for the teens to drive home after the evening Singing).
Quilting is a part of the life of the Old Order Mennonite family, and many of the Old Order Mennonites ladies quilt, and teach their daughters how to quilt, so traditions and many Amish quilt patterns are passed through the generations. The Old Order Mennonite quilter is meticulous in execution and attention to detail. Some of the worlds finest quilts have been quilted by the Old Order Mennonite quilter, and we are thrilled that they are still creating fine Amish Quilts and continuing this art today.
By rearing large families, the numbers of the Old Order Mennonites are growing. Today there are approximately 20,000 Old Order Mennonites in the USA and Canada.