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.

Global Threads, The Art and Fashion of Indian Chintz

The Cloth that Changed the World: The Art and Fashion of Indian Chintz was an exhibition created by the Royal Ontario Museum of Toronto Canada. I wanted to see the exhibit very badly, but a trip to Toronto really didn’t fit in my travel schedule. I had to make do with the exhibition catalog, until the St. Louis Art Museum decided to showcase the exhibit in a joint venture which is up through Jan 8th, 2023. My sister Kay and I made that trip happen. It was worth every second of the drive across the state. We got to see some fantastic palampores, textiles, and Indian Chintz. The exhibit was wonderful about showing the textiles in groupings that were produced for different markets or countries. The St. Louis Art Museum also threw in an amazing surprise,...

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Bromley Hall/Ollive/Talwin & Foster

A competitor of Bannister Hall, Bromley Hall Printworks, also used various names with the change of ownership. From the 1680s to 1820s Bromley Hall (a building around since 1485) on the River Lea descended through a prominent Quaker family. Benjamin Ollive was a linen dyer who by 1719 had become a calico printer. The River Lea provided easy access to water and his sons followed into the business expanding the premises. In 1783 the family acquired copper printing plates from a printer in Merton who went bankrupt.Joseph Ollive bequeathed his business to his nephew Joseph Talwin and Joseph managed the firm as Talwin & Foster. The V&A is home to the rare pattern book of Talwin & Foster which contains 144 copper plate designs which can be seen at this link. Talwin & Foster's products were...

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Bannister Hall/Charles Swainson

Bannister Hall Printworks, famous for several bird chintzes, was founded in 1798 by Richard Jackson and John Stephenson. Located near Preston, Lancashire, it was the leading printworks for woodblock furniture chintzes during the 19th century. In 1804 Jackson and Stephenson would bring Charles Swainson into the company, eventually completely selling the company to him in 1809. Between 1809 and 1825 it was owned by Charles Swainson, and from 1825-1856 it was known as Charles Swainson & Company. The Swainsons would open a second “big mill” called Fishwick Mill, with John Birley & Sons. People still referred to the company by various names including Bannister Hall, The Big Mill, Birley & Sons, Swainson & Sons. Eventually, in 1892, Edmund Wright Stead would purchase the blocks, machinery, and more than 9,000 designs of Bannister Hall for the competitor...

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Inscribed Quilts

Studying all these Northern Chintz Style Quilts with signatures and presentation info got us thinking about how and when the craze started. We see the proliferation of signatures on the Baltimore album quilts and even in the deep South too. So, it wasn’t associated with just one area or region. The earliest known autograph album was created in 1466, but it would take until 1507 before the “album amicorum” or book of friends to really be established. In the mid 16th century it was fashionable and became common throughout Europe in the 17th century. In the United States, 1820s are usually the time cited of popularity. So, what inspired the writing on quilts? The creation of Indelible ink. It may well be that earlier quilts had signatures or notes that simply didn’t survive the passage of...

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Northern Chintz Quilt Style

As some of you may recall, I’ve been researching whether there is a regional style of chintz applique. (If you want to re-read the previous blogs, here are the links to the first, second, third, and fourth blog.) After more research, I identified 20 quilts in the style, although the whereabouts are not always known. To see these quilts, please check out our Pinterest page at this link. Wherever possible we’ve included documentation about the quilt, but a few quilts in private collections are not included. Because of some written records, we know there are still additional quilts in this style out there. So, if you know about one of these quilts, please send me the information! We also identified more than 10 mixed album quilts which fit into this grouping by both style (chintz applique...

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