Dating quilt fabric, fabric dating references - quiltindex

Sumac, birch, oak, woodshed in general and iron made black. The dye process was long and involved and colors changed depending on the mordents used. Most antique and vintage quilts were made by hand with no help from a sewing machine.


How to Tell if a Quilt Is Vintage or Antique

Also popular materials in that time were linsey-woolsey linen and wool fabric and fustian linnen and cotton mix fabric. Not to say that there weren't any, but it is far more likely that a quilt would be made out of fabric bought specifically for that purpose, possibly to match bed curtains. Women were joining the work force in unprecedented numbers and had no time to make bedding.

The way it is made changes, but the finished look of one large star made from rows of diamond shaped pieces covering the quilt top is the same through time. Quilting was done in straight lines, often with double and triple quilting, although flowers, baskets, feathers and wreathes were not uncommon. However, group dating new green was considered fugitive - it often washed out or faded.

At the height of their popularity in the mid-nineteenth century, double pinks were often paired with madder or chocolate browns in quilts. It showed wear on many of the tiny pieces in the postage stamp variation. It was associated with poorer times. The country entered into a new war and women once again found themselves forced to be resourceful.

But it was not useful for the hard work and shortages of everyday living most were forced to endure. Fabrics were glazed with egg whites or honey. In the Victorian era decorative embroidery was introduced over raw edges of heavier fabrics, such as velvet andbrocade, for crazy patchwork quilts. It might also use the extra fabric left over after making clothes. Indigo blue was a deep blue, although Prussian Lafayette blue and light blue was also available.

Fabric Dating References - QuiltIndex

When the product inside was used up the cloth bag was recycled long before that word was fashionable into garments, quilts and household articles. The World exposition in Philadelphia had a pronounced influence on quilts. The more lead the better, since silk was sold by the pound.

As life improved, women found themselves with more time to spend on needle arts. The civil war and its aftermath brought a lot of changes to American women. Identify Handmade Quilts Most antique and vintage quilts were made by hand with no help from a sewing machine. Madder red, also known as cinnamon red, was a bright red dye made from the roots of the madder, or rubia, plant, and was especially popular in the late nineteenth century. Running stitches were usedin northern Europe, dating agency cyrano taemin in Provence in southern France and in Britain for wholecloth quilting.

Chemical dyes also play a large factor in deterioration. The picture below shows an ombre print also called a rainbow print in the middle of the Ohio Star. Our greens and yellows improved and pastels became possible again. Colors were bright and varied.


  • Today, indigo blue dyes very similar to those made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are still common in African quiltmaking and are sometimes used in contemporary American art quilts.
  • Plain weave is found in both vintage and modern quilts, so it's not ideal for aging a piece.
  • Colorfast Turkey red dye was made with oil, while more fugitive madder reds were made with water.
  • Both of these hues have warmer undertone than bubblegum pink, which emerged as a quilt fabric, often as a solid rather than a print, in the twentieth century.
  1. Indigo dye has a long history in the United States, and was used in quiltmaking from the eighteenth century onward.
  2. Another fugitive color, purple, could be made with lichens and seashells.
  3. Fine modern art quilts and family heirlooms alike should be insured, especially if they are to be shipped to shows and museums.
  4. Welcome to the Quilt Index Wiki page on fabric dating references.
  5. They were also used for flour, salt, sugar and other baking necessities.
Barbara Brackman s MATERIAL CULTURE Clues in an Old Quilt
An Introduction to Identifying and Collecting Antique Quilts

Textile fabrics Vintage textiles Fabric swatches

Three were needed to make a woman size dress. Many antique quilts were made in odd sizes that don't fit modern beds. Thus, this dye can help to both identify both the date and location in which a quilt was made. Upon opening the box the pieces are not hexagonal but rectangular in shape. Prussian blue was commonly used in ombre prints, prints which featured a gradation from light to dark.

Quilts became more utilitarian - they were often tied rather than quilted. The type and thickness of thread used to make a quilt is often a clue to its age. Post civil war quilts took on more somber aspects. In the mid-nineteenth century, Turkey red often appears in prints which also contain chrome yellow or indigo blue. We are Mayflower Society and D.

New Pathways Into Quilt History - Antique Quilts & Textile Dating

Turkey red began to give way to a bluish red. Of course there is always a disclaimer with any antique viewed on-line, but things can be overlooked in an antique shop as well. However, the idea that all early quilts were made of worn clothing is a myth. On the internet, I refer to scans of full shots of the front and back and close-ups of the binding, fabrics, and quilting.

Nile green, a type of pale green, was common on vintage quilts in the s through s. Their quilts speak to them and tell their story through clues in the style, fabric, pattern, quilt stitches and sometimes stitched or inked words, names, cities or dates. Fabrics that were printed for special occasions were probably used within ten years of the time they were printed. Backings were often of linen, which was considered a utility fabric.

Colors and Age A quilt's colors may help you identify its general age. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Howe's rival, Isaac Singer, received a patent in for an improved sewing machine, later adding a foot treadle for hands-free operation and a carrying case that doubled as a stand. The silk quilts popular during this period were probably made more out of sentiment and a need to keep busy while the men folk were away. Crazy quilts became a fad.

Mercerized thread, a thread treated to improve strength made its appearance in and began to be mass produced. It's tough to accurately date a quilt unless you're an antiques appraiser, but by looking for a few clues, you can deduce its general age. It was the most I had ever paid for something so small. Especially when they could now afford to buy it!

It is often paired with white in prints. Bubblegum pinks, however, start are easily distinguished from the others by their cool undertone and general resemblance to chewing gum. Buyer beware was clearly the truth.

Dating quilts with accuracy includes examination of many parts of the quilts, but the process starts with one aspect and goes from there. If you have information about books on dating fabrics, or general information on dating fabric materials, patterns and prints, or colors and dyes, please consider adding your information to the Wiki. It All Starts with the Style Dating quilts with accuracy includes examination of many parts of the quilts, but the process starts with one aspect and goes from there. If the stitches are precisely uniform in size and spacing, the quilt was probably machine-stitched.

American Quilter s Society - Dating Fabrics - A Color Guide
How to Date the Quilt

My training to become a psychologist taught me the value of deductive reasoning using the decision diagnostic tree. Turkey red was highly prized and is differentiated from madder red, a similar color made from the same plant, by its superior dye-making process. What is best way to sell the remaining quilts? Prussian blue was very popular in America in the s, and was first used in the United States in the early s.

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How to Date the Quilt - GoldenFingers

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