Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Lori Lee Triplett, Business Manager for Quilt and Textile Collections, has successfully combined a variety of passions which include research, writing, and performing into the quilt world. As a lecturer and instructor she brings her experience from stage, screen, and radio to make the presentations fun yet educational. She enjoys presenting at local quilt guilds, but also presents at national conferences and has made appearances internationally.

Early English Furniture Prints

Just a reminder that because of the chinoiserie medallion in a recent acquisition quilt, we are continuing to research early textile printers in England. Because the medallions, panels, and borders printed were considered furnishing prints, not a basic calico, we’ve been exploring early furnishing printers from the late 1700s and beyond. Bannister Hall and Bromley Hall are the most frequently cited textiles printers from the period, however both printers went through multiple different owners and did commission printing for furniture manufacturers. (To learn more about Bannister Hall and Bromley Hall, click on their names to read a previous blog post.) Besides William Kilburn, a leading textile designer discussed in our last blog, Richard Ovey of Covent Garden was the leading London merchant for furniture prints from 1790 to 1831. Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum...

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Revised Dates on Early English Printing

Continued research on the new acquisition quilts caused additional research on early English textile printing which supports earlier dates on certain printing milestones. The date of 1815 is cited frequently for designs on cotton with some complexity. However, I would argue the date should be earlier. In 1752 copper plate printing was developed in Ireland, and quickly spread to England. Prints from copper plates produce the finer details needed to create complex designs. Also of note, in 1774, parliament passed the “United Kingdom of the Realm Act” which required foreign cottons to be heavily taxed upon import into England. English printed cottons intended for export from England would be marked with “the three blue threads” and be refunded the tax in the colonies. If you have antique fabric with three blue threads in the selvedge, then...

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Borders and More!

As I was researching the chinoiserie panel, I saw several borders used in different quilts, which got me wondering about borders. Naturally, I then had to research border fabric that has obviously been around for some time. Also, I was surprised to see borders printed both horizontally and vertically which is convenient depending on the fabrics intended use. Border fabric was printed to be used for petticoats, with one border printed horizontally to provide a finish to the petticoat. A simpler print was used on the remainder of the fabric, which would make for easier block printing. It also allowed for one seam to be added to create the tube and as an early form of ready to wear, kept in stock. Once the petticoat was selected it could simply be fitted at the waist. Some...

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Recent Acquisitions

Although the Poos Collection is limiting the number of new acquisitions, this month two important quilts were added to the collection. Not surprisingly both would be considered in the chintz quilt genre of the collection. A cut-out applique quilt, likely English in origin, has some of our favorite famous fabrics that we started tracking in 2012 including some Bannister Hall fabrics. For more information on the many owners of Bannister Hall, please see the link to a previous blog article providing details. When studiying the peacock fabric, it is interesting to the industrial espionage that was taking place. Changing the direction of the head was one way to avoid being accused of "copying."  The second antique quilt, also likely English, was added because of the chinoiserie panel in the center. This is the second antique quilt...

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Upcoming Events

I’m interrupting the research to give you an update about some coming events. We’d love to see you at some of these in person events or via Zoom. In some cases, they are both an option. My long-awaited research trip to Philadelphia and New Jersey is coming up the end of May. I’ve located some original sources and I’m hopeful that will shed light on these Northern Style Cut-out Applique (NSCAs.) Thanks to AQSG for providing some of the funding for the research trip. On June 1, I’ll be presenting on NSCAs, with my presentation Delaware River Valley Quilts at Penn Dry Goods event hosted by the Schwenkfelder Museum. It looks like a fabulous event, so if you are interested in attending in person or via Zoom, here is the link. Also, those in person will...

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