History of Quilting

Quilting can be described as the stitching together of layers of padding and fabric. It is a method of sewing done by joining two or more layers of materials together to produce a much more thickly padded material. Quilting is done by using a needle and a thread to join two or more layers of a material or a fabric together to form a quilt. Quilting is done with three layers of material; the top fabric, an insulating material and a backing material.

The word quilt is derived from the Latin word ‘Culcita’ which literally means a stuffed sack. It came to the English language from the French word Cuilte. There has been no recorded history as to the specific date quilting began. However it is known to have been in existence for several millennia. In fact, the earliest known quilting has been discovered by archaeologists on a carved ivory figure that belonged to the Pharaoh of the Egyptian First Dynasty which dates back to 34OO BC. In the latter months of 1924, archaeologists also made a remarkable discovery of a quilted floor covering in Mongolia that dates back to somewhere between the first century BC to the second century AD.

The history of quilting in Europe began in the latter years of the 11th century when crusaders brought it from the Middle East. It became so popular that soldiers and Knights were using it under their amour for maximum comfort. In America, it was introduced when settlers from Europe sent the art of quilting with them to the New World.

Quilting became much popular and flourished across every part of the world in the nineteenth century, specifically between the periods of 1825 – 1875. It was eventually brought to the Great Plains and became very popular. It then became very essential asset for the early settlers because they could use quilted materials on their beds, as covers for their windows and doors as well as mats for their children to play with. From the latter parts of the 1940s till date has seen quilting gained massive popularity across the globe and has been an important part of the American Folk Art.