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Quilt, bright pink glazed wool

1750-1800
Origin: America, New Hampshire (probably)
OL: 104"; OW: 114 1/2"
Face-glazed wool; reverse-woolen; batting of carded wool.
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1966-419
T-shaped quilt made of bright pink or rose glazed worsted tammy, quilted with running stitches in a pattern of oversized tulips and large fan-shaped flowers on heavy stems with plume-like foliage; border of tulip blossoms repeated side by side. Backing is a loosely woven woolen. The wadding or batting is carded wool.
Note: tammy is a plain-woven worsted fabric on which a permanent glaze has been achieved through a calendering operation using heat and pressure.
Label:Many women quilted warm and attractive wholecloth bedcovers using wool textiles for the tops. They stitched lengths of woven fabric together to make a single piece large enough for the entire top. This textile was woven from fine, long wool fibers known as worsteds and pressed after weaving to give a glaze that rivaled silk in sheen. This treatment made the textiles permanently shiny and crisp and enhanced the visibility of the quilting. Because the glazing process required heavy machinery, it was done by the textile manufacturer, not by the quilter.
With wholecloth quilts, the subtle decoration came entirely from the stitches that held the layers together. Although the oversize leaves and flowers of this design appear to be stuffed or raised with extra filling, no additional batting was added beyond a layer of wool fiber spread evenly throughout the quilt. The stuffed appearance occurs because the background diagonally quilted lines pull the textile in, causing the nonquilted areas to puff up. The use of glazed worsted further enhances the effect, because the crisp glazed texture holds its shape without flattening. The cutout corners accommodated the posts of a tall bedstead.
Provenance:From the estate of the late Mrs. Austin P. Palmer, the former Mrs. DeWitt C. Howe, Beech Hill Road, Hopkinton, New Hampshire.