Hello everyone – my well wishes to you and your family. In my last article I wrote about quilting and my thoughts on it. This article however is about the history and legacy of the art of quilting. Some of you may already know about the ancient roots of quilting. I am writing for those who are yet alienated from the art of quilting. Those who have historical knowledge about it are welcome to share their thoughts in the comment section.
No-one can tell exactly when the process of quilting started. Probably some random person made a blanket or clothing in a different way which captured people’s attention and people started improvising.
The earliest known quilt is from the age of Pharaohs of the Egyptian First Dynasty which dates back to 3400 BC. So quilting might have started before that period. Archeologists over the years discovered various quilted garments which are from ancient times. A quilted floor covering in Mongolia was discovered in 1924 which is thought to have been made in the period between 100 BC to 200 AD. Quilting was very popular during the Middle Ages. It was worn by soldiers for comfort and protection during that period.
The earliest known surviving European bed quilt is from late 14th century Sicily which was made of linen and padded with wool. The quilt is a big piece of garment in display at Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It was an important part of the European needlework tradition during the 5th century.
America has its own quilting history as well. During the Colonial Times, most American women used to spin, weave and make clothing. The wealthier class had a penchant in doing fine quilting of whole cloth quilts with fine needlework.
Quilts during that time were actually whole cloth quilts. Broderie quilts and medallion quilts were quite common then. “Paper” quilting became quite popular during the pioneer days. Summer quilts were also made at that time.
Quilting was also a common practice among Native Americans. Different tribes used to make quilts which depicted their cultural and religious way of living. The Hawaiian people were also well versed in quilting as well. They have their own style of making quilts.
Quilting as it refers is not only the process for making quilts. However, it is far more than that. A quilt speaks for the quilter and his/her life, family, culture and society. It is like a canvas for the quilter where he/she puts the necessary stitches and designs to evoke his/her emotion on it.
This is my simple effort to present a brief history and tradition of quilting for you guys. I hope you like the article. Any questions and/or feedback are most welcome.