Dating fabrics in quilts
The double wedding ring pattern, for example, depicts two interlocking rings and is thought to have German origins. Thefee is usually small and added security is well worth the trouble. There is no other quilt style exactly like it. The way it is made changes, but the finished look of one large star made from rows of diamond shaped pieces covering the quilt top is the same through time.
For me, the style is usually the first place I start. However, unless there is a direct connection to the maker, the dating of quilts is not precise science.
These early prints were mainly monochromatic. For example, Lancaster blue consists of a light-blue print over a dark-blue background. Manganese Bronze Manganese dyes were responsible for a deep, rich brown and was often used in floral patterns. The style of a quilt and its pattern are not the same thing.
The original copperplates were printed outlines, which were then hand painted, as India clothes were. Chrome yellows are brighter than butterscotch, another popular yellow from the same period. Dealers and auction houses are now competent to determine the value of the quilt in greater numbers than they were even ten years ago.
Indigo Blue Indigo dye has a long history in the United States, and was used in quiltmaking from the eighteenth century onward. Butterscotch prints are often small, with the motifs closely packed together. It is often paired with white in prints. It's tough to accurately date a quilt unless you're an antiques appraiser, but by looking for a few clues, you can deduce its general age.
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