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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Quilting was: Pillow stuffing

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  • kittencat3@aol.com
    Period quilting was primarily wholecloth, either in linen or silk. There are a few references to patchwork (one in a 12th century French poem, La Lai del
    Message 1 of 18 , Feb 2, 2006
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      Period quilting was primarily wholecloth, either in linen or silk. There are
      a few references to patchwork (one in a 12th century French poem, La Lai del
      Desire, some "payned quyltes" in Henry VIII's inventory of 1547), but most of
      the surviving references are to wholecloths.

      Here are some pictures of surviving medieval quilts/quilted objects/paintings
      of quilts:

      http://images.vam.ac.uk (enter "tristan" in the search box for pictures of
      the oldest known European bed quilt)

      http://www.bildindex.de/rx/apsisa.dll/registerinhalt?sid=&cnt=&rid=2&aid=*&que
      ry=+xdbpics%3Aalle%20+r1a_name%3A'B*'%20%20+r1a_name%3A%22bermejo,%20bartolome
      %22&no=1&count=50&sort=no&rid=2
      Bartolome Bermejo's 1450 painting of the Death of the Virgin clearly shows a
      silk quilt on the bed.

      http://www.aut.org/SearchProducto?Produnum=27066 (1550 painting by Francesco
      Beccaruzzi showing a tennis player and his pageboy, said tennis player wearing
      a quilted doublet for protection)

      There's also a terrific article on 16th and 17th century silk quilts in the
      December 1997 issue of Antiques: The Magazine, and an even better article on
      the Guicciardini quilts of 1394 in the September 1993 issue of Quilter's
      Newsletter Magazine.



      E-mail me privately at kittencat@... and I'd be happy to send you
      even more information. There's also a Medieval Quilting Yahoo group that I
      moderate that has some terrific pictures and links.

      Hope this helps - and feel free to ask me any questions. I'm more than happy
      to help.

      Mistress Sarah Davies
      East


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    • kittencat3@aol.com
      Ooo, good point from Lady Christian...wool doesn t seem to have been nearly as popular as cotton for stuffing and batting, and for good reason: wool battings
      Message 2 of 18 , Feb 2, 2006
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        Ooo, good point from Lady Christian...wool doesn't seem to have been nearly
        as popular as cotton for stuffing and batting, and for good reason: wool
        battings tend to beard (have the fibers poke out through the cloth, which is
        annoying and scratchy; if you think de-pilling a sweater is bad, try shaving a
        quilt), stuffed work balls up and felts, and the quilts themselves tend to be sort
        of limp, especially if they're made of something like silk. For some reason
        Henry VIII was very fond of wool-stuffed linen quilts (he owned about three
        dozen, or roughly half his quilt stash), but that's the only reference to wool
        battings I've found so far.

        Sarah Davies (again)


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      • bex_1014
        ... nearly ... I just wanted to ask, when and where? We seem to be talking English Tudor times here, but what if you wanted a quilt from 14th C France?
        Message 3 of 18 , Feb 2, 2006
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          --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, kittencat3@... wrote:
          >
          > Ooo, good point from Lady Christian...wool doesn't seem to have been
          nearly
          > as popular as cotton for stuffing and batting, and for good reason:

          <snip>
          I just wanted to ask, when and where? We seem to be talking English
          Tudor times here, but what if you wanted a quilt from 14th C France? Or
          Normandy in 1066? Is there any evidence from earlier times? I thought
          that cotton-wool is progressively scarcer and more expensive the
          further back in time, and further from the Mediterranean, leading me to
          think that 14th C England, if it had quilts, would be more likely to
          have them padded with wool, unless you were very well off.
          curious,
          Rebecca
        • kittencat3@aol.com
          In a message dated 2/2/2006 8:51:48 PM Eastern Standard Time, tonkin.rebecca@saugov.sa.gov.au writes: I just wanted to ask, when and where? We seem to be
          Message 4 of 18 , Feb 2, 2006
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            In a message dated 2/2/2006 8:51:48 PM Eastern Standard Time,
            tonkin.rebecca@... writes:

            I just wanted to ask, when and where? We seem to be talking English
            Tudor times here, but what if you wanted a quilt from 14th C France? Or
            Normandy in 1066? Is there any evidence from earlier times? I thought
            that cotton-wool is progressively scarcer and more expensive the
            further back in time, and further from the Mediterranean, leading me to
            think that 14th C England, if it had quilts, would be more likely to
            have them padded with wool, unless you were very well off.
            14th century France - quilt would have been trapunto wholecloth of linen
            stuffed with cotton. Rene of Anjou owned one, and there was a quilt in Italy
            prior to WWII (it may not have survived) that featured the fleur-de-lis of Anjou
            and/or France as a prominent design motif.

            Norman times - probably not unless you somehow knew someone with connections
            to a Silk Road caravan, and certainly not on a bed. There's a huge gap
            between the one known Merovingian quilted piece (probably an import, 6-7th century)
            and a 12th century reference to a quilt in a French lai.

            Earlier times - there's a quilted tomb rug from Siberia that dates to the 1st
            century of the Common Era. There's a great picture of it in Averil Colby's
            book =Quilting.=

            I haven't found any evidence for wool used in quilts as padding before the
            time of Henry VIII; quilted armor was stuffed with cotton or linen because it
            provided more protection than wool, for instance. Wool as the quilt top seems
            to have originated in America in the 18th century in imitation of cotton and
            silk wholecloths, and may have developed from the bed rugg, or heavy hooked
            coverlet that was standard in the 17th and 18th centuries in New England.

            English quilting - very little evidence for a homegrown tradition until just
            after the SCA period, I'm afraid. Quilts were an expensive luxury item and
            were imported, either from the Low Countries (linen and cotton "holland cloth"
            quilts) or the Far East and India (silk wholecloths and Bengali cottons from
            Goa).

            Hope this helps....

            Sarah Davies


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          • Eirene Tzimiskina Kontostephanina
            ... were also ... flockes (raw ... though...what about ... Feathers *seem* to be likely. But so far I can t find anything that would indicate what was
            Message 5 of 18 , Feb 3, 2006
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              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, kittencat3@... wrote:
              >
              > Quilts were by and large stuffed with cotton (although linen quilts
              were also
              > stuffed with wool in the 16th century), either rolled flat or
              "flockes" (raw
              > chunks, most likely in trapunto). Not sure about pillows,
              though...what about
              > feathers?
              >

              Feathers *seem* to be likely. But so far I can't find anything that
              would indicate what was contained within any one pillow. I did find a
              Renaissance inventory that listed a "feather bed and bolster" as if
              they were a pair. It might be that the word "feather" described both
              items. Or not.

              I'm focusing on the 14th-15th centuries, btw.

              Lijsbet
            • Eirene Tzimiskina Kontostephanina
              ... A bit *too* early I m afraid. ;-) Lijsbet
              Message 6 of 18 , Feb 3, 2006
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                --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, NINacide@... wrote:
                >
                > _http://www.catherineshinn.com/acatalog/antique_pillows.htm_
                > (http://www.catherineshinn.com/acatalog/antique_pillows.htm)
                >
                > "The earliest Pillows were formed wrapped around leaves or straw"
                >
                > Mikhail
                >

                A bit *too* early I'm afraid. ;-)

                Lijsbet
              • Angharad ver' Reynulf
                ... From: kittencat3@aol.com To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 2:59:38 PM Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] Pillow stuffing
                Message 7 of 18 , Feb 3, 2006
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                  ----- Original Message ----
                  From: kittencat3@...
                  To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 2:59:38 PM
                  Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] Pillow stuffing


                  Quilts were by and large stuffed with cotton (although linen quilts were also
                  stuffed with wool in the 16th century), either rolled flat or "flockes" (raw
                  chunks, most likely in trapunto). Not sure about pillows, though...what about
                  feathers?

                  Sarah Davies


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                • Angharad ver' Reynulf
                  Apologies on the first message, my enter key was a bit touchy. I intended to ask what would be a relatively easy-to-find modern equivalent to the cotton used
                  Message 8 of 18 , Feb 3, 2006
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                    Apologies on the first message, my enter key was a bit touchy.

                    I intended to ask what would be a relatively easy-to-find modern equivalent to the cotton used to stuff the earlier medieval quilts.

                    Thank you,

                    Angharad ver' Reynulf
                  • Terri Morgan
                    let me begin by stating that late 16th century is not my period. But I am re-vamping my first (pathetic) attempt at trous and a jerkin (or maybe a doublet this
                    Message 9 of 18 , Feb 3, 2006
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                      let me begin by stating that late 16th century is not my period. But I am
                      re-vamping my first (pathetic) attempt at trous and a jerkin (or maybe a
                      doublet this time) for my husband so he won't be out of place at
                      Elizabethan-era events and demos. This, of course, led to a discussion about
                      what he would like (good Viking that he is) and what I would be willing to
                      make. And in the course of the discussion came a question not really
                      addressed by "Patterns of Fashion" or QEWU, so far as I could find.
                      Was it unusual for a man to have trous of one colour/fabric and a jerkin
                      or doublet of another? Paintings seem to indicate that both top and bottom
                      were matching yet what I've looked at could well be considered 'cursory'
                      compared to those of you who are of later-period personas. I'd like to make
                      two trous to every jerkin/doublet so he can work with no fear of having to
                      change his entire outfit...


                      Hrothny
                    • Eirene Tzimiskina Kontostephanina
                      ... equivalent to the cotton used to stuff the earlier medieval quilts. ... There is quite a bit of cotton batting on the market. Your local JoAnns should
                      Message 10 of 18 , Feb 3, 2006
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                        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Angharad ver' Reynulf
                        <dragonwolfcat@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Apologies on the first message, my enter key was a bit touchy.
                        >
                        > I intended to ask what would be a relatively easy-to-find modern
                        equivalent to the cotton used to stuff the earlier medieval quilts.
                        >
                        > Thank you,
                        >
                        > Angharad ver' Reynulf
                        >

                        There is quite a bit of cotton batting on the market. Your local
                        JoAnns should carry it.

                        Lijsbet
                      • Eirene Tzimiskina Kontostephanina
                        ... ... I can t rule out feathers, but neither can I document their common use. The Paston inventories show that of thirteen pillows only two were
                        Message 11 of 18 , Feb 3, 2006
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                          --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, kittencat3@... wrote:
                          <snip>
                          > Not sure about pillows, though...what about
                          > feathers?
                          >

                          I can't rule out feathers, but neither can I document their common
                          use. The Paston inventories show that of thirteen pillows only two
                          were remarkable enough to list the contents, that being down. The rest
                          would seem to be common enough that a description of the contents
                          wasn't required.

                          Lijsbet
                        • kittencat3@aol.com
                          Two suggestions and a recommendation: For flocking, try either cotton cosmetic puffs or the soft outer layer of a roll of old-fashioned wound cotton. I ve
                          Message 12 of 18 , Feb 3, 2006
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                            Two suggestions and a recommendation:

                            For flocking, try either cotton cosmetic puffs or the soft outer layer of a
                            roll of old-fashioned wound cotton. I've tried the latter and it does work,
                            and a lady on the Medieval Quilting tried the former with excellent results.

                            If you want to do flat quilting, use a Harriett Hargraves organic cotton
                            batt. It's marvelous to work with, and can be found pretty easily in quilt shops
                            and online.


                            Sarah Davies


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