SOMETHING TO PUT YOU TO SLEEP…A BRIEF HISTORY OF QUILTS AND DUVETS
The word ‘quilt’ conjures up a myriad different memories and associations.
For some people, it may be a memory of an adventure through France where exquisite quilt covers lined every bed – or a childhood recollection of happy moments using grandma’s faded quilt as the setting for make-believe adventures. A quilt may be an old-fashioned bedding option, but true beauty never goes out of fashion.
In fact, instead of being relegated to the history books, quilts are enjoying something of a renaissance. Around the world, millions of people are trying their hand at this time-honoured craft, with conferences, exhibitions, group training sessions, specialist publications, online groups and forums all dedicated to the art of quilting.
But where did it all begin?
The origins of stitching together layers of padding and fabric to make a quilt cover is said by some to date back to ancient Egypt, whilst in Europe, quilting is said to have been introduced by the Crusaders in the twelfth century. Russia is said to hold the oldest example in existence, a quilted linen carpet, whilst another of the earliest decorative works, the ‘Tristan’ quilt was made in Sicily and dates back to around 1360.
In the States, quilt making was common in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the oldest surviving American-made quilt dating back to 1726. There are many traditions associated with quilting, which was often done communally – with quilts and bedspreads frequently made to mark life events such as a marriage or a birth.
The most dramatic changes came about with the onset of the industrial revolution and mass-produced fabrics. Women didn’t have to spend time weaving or spinning their own textiles, they could rather focus on making a beautiful quilt cover or bedspread using commercially made fabrics which were widely available.
But if you’re not one of the crafty quilters, but desire one of these beautiful pieces of linen for yourself…don’t despair. All you need to do is to find sufficient time to go shopping for some of the most beautiful – yet commercially produced – quality quilted bedspreads that would do even the most dedicated crafter proud.
Metallic Grey Quilted Looping Circle Pattern Coverlet / Bedspread Queen; bed quilts queen