Sunday, December 13, 2009
Their popularity began with the advent of a good synthetic black fabric dye. (The search had been on since the discovery of the first aniline dye, mauveine, in 1856) These prints, fine black lines and figures on a white ground--the black and white mixture appeared to be gray-- were known as Shaker Grays, a name derived from the practical dress goods of the Shaker community (woolens woven from their sheep--assorted shades of white and black), as well as Mourning and Half Mourning prints.
These were a serviceable type of print that did not show the soil. You could readily find them in the Sears catalog up until 1924/25. After that date there was a 'sea change' in the color palette of the cotton prints. In the 1926 catalog, the pastel prints, a small 'flutter' had been available in previous catalogs, were suddenly very popular. The selection of Shaker Gray style prints had been drastically reduced. They continued to sell through the 1930s.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Shortly after the beginning of the War, the attack on Fort Sumter April 12, 1861, President Lincoln signed the legislation for the United States Sanitary Commission. The Commission's initial purpose(based on a British model from the Crimean War) was to work for better field and hospital conditions for the soldiers. America's 'industrial war complex' of the time was primitive and unprepared for the rapid call up of fighting men (75,000 militia) by President Lincoln. In especially short supply were articles of clothing and bedding. A call for quilts or comforts was issued by the Commission. The size requested was '8 feet long, 4 feet wide'--a good size for hospital cots and soldiers' backpacks. The quilts donated were usually stamped with an oval containing the words "Sanitary Commission".
It is estimated that Northern women made and donated more than 250,000 quilts. Many quilts were used as shrouds; others were burned when a field hospital was moved.
There are only 6 known survivors. Three are pot holder style: Rally Round the Flag, the Hingham, Mass quilt and the 6th which was seen in 1998 in Texas and is called the 'Long quilt').
Don Beld has developed patterns for 4 of these quilts. His latest pattern is a 4 block wallhanging done in the Pot Holder technique. In January, 2010, he will have a new pattern with all 13 different blocks (including the block featured above) of the 5th Sanitary Commission quilt from Hingham, MA.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The announcements of ships arriving from England, France, Germany and Asia were of special interest. Dates, times and locations were given for the auctions of the cargo. There was a wide variety of textiles offered:
Trade shirt pattern (above image), is # WID-1 from the Smoke & Fire Company. Fabrics recommended by the company are bright cotton cloth in florals, checked or stripes.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
For the lecture, I had handed out fabric sample packets. They included the wonderful yellow print below that I thought was very appropriate for voyageur's shirts. To my delight, when I returned to my store, there was an online order from the costume shop at the Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay, Canada that came in while I was lecturing -- they had ordered the same yellow print!
It will be sewn into a shirt this winter to be worn by a site interpreter next summer.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Note the wonderful picotage detail on this print.
Here everyother pin dot is white--bleached out in the discharge style. A discharge paste containing lead chromate will bleach out the pin dot circle and then drop in the chrome coloration for the illumination. Registration on illumination is always perfect--the chrome coloration being part of the 'bleaching' paste.
The underside of both indigo prints.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
We hung over 430 quilts this year for this one day event with antiques inside in the ballroom.
The workmanship and the condition were very good.
I will be lecturing in MN on Nov 5th and Nov 7th. The Saturday lecture topic is INDIGOS. I will end the lecture with this story and these pictures. I hope to see you there.
Friday, October 9, 2009
A Greek Key is a regular repeat of interlocking right angles and vertical lines usually as a border treatment in art, architecture and textiles. It was a common decorative motif in Greek and Roman art and architecture and was often used in American Neoclassical (beginning in the mid 18th century) design--furniture, architecture and fabrics. American Greek Revival architecture and decorative arts-1800-1855.
One of the quilts in the DAR display last fall at the Houston Quilt Market/Festival displayed just such a fabric in a border. It was wonderful!
My husband Ron, a 36 month pancreatic cancer survivor, just turned 65!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
By noon we had over 9" of the white stuff. Last week there were two days in the low 80s. Such is the weather in the northern Rockies.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
In this blog, I will write about the history of cotton manufacturing (the printing and dyeing),the use of such cottons (quilts and garments) and the buying and selling of the fabric (cotton textiles as trade goods). I have 9 antique fabric sample books. All those samples should make good visuals for this blog.
Click on the pictures below for an expanded view.
The cover of one of my sample books. 'Divers' means assorted. 1863
The double violet print at the top of the page is the image behind the title, Cottonopia.