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Brief History of Quilting

By Heather Allen

Quilting is the art of stitching through padding that has been placed between 2 layers of cloth. It was believed to have been invented by the Americans in the 19th Century. However this is not true. In fact, quilting has been around in Egypt since 3,400 BC. Certainly one of the earliest examples to be found of quilting was that of a carved ivory figure of an Egyptian pharaoh from the 1st Dynasty. The figure was supposedly wearing a quilted mantle and certainly quilting was probably used as layers in clothing in order to keep a person warm.

In fact many early forms of quilting were not used for bedding but rather as clothing in order to keep a person warm. Only later on did people decide that it was the ideal solution for keeping themselves warm at night as well. In Europe in colonial times the soldiers of this time resisted wearing armor and instead turned to padded quilted clothing instead to provide them with protection.

Then by the 1600's colonists who had moved to America were also bringing their quilting skills and styles with them from their homelands in Europe. By the 1700s the more wealthy ladies were making their quilts from pieces of silk, linen and wool and these became known as Crazy Quilts. In fact quilts and bedding were highly prized by families during the 1700 and 1800's and would be passed down from generation to generation.

By the middle of the 1800's, because of the invention of the cotton gin, this fabric begun to be manufactured not just in Europe but in the US as well. It was then that patchwork quilting patterns became the vogue. Only the more wealthy quilters would be able to buy cotton in its various shades and then cut it up into geometric shapes which they could then sew together in blocks. Originally only very simple designs were used such as squares, rectangles and triangles, but as time progressed the designs being produced were much more daring and fanciful. But with the invention of the locked stitch sewing machine a woman was able to put together a quilt much more quickly than they had been able to previously when sewing their quilting fabric together by hand.

If you want to learn more about quilting, click over to Heather's site at http://www.madaboutquilting.com Or click here to get 3 Free Reports about quilting.

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