Wholecloth quilt made from a face fabric of blue and white, block- printed cotton and flax (spun together in both the warp and weft yarns). Mixing cotton and flax in yarns would allowed the manufacturer to fall within the British law at the time which forbade the weaving and use of all-cotton cloth. By spinning cotton and flax fibers together in all yarns, the cost was reduced (all-cotton was more expensive) while at the same time the absorption of indigo dye was almost guaranteed to be uniform. Dating to the 1760s, the pattern is a blue, block-printed meandering vine with large floral design achieved through two applications of indigo-resist dyeing to create a light and dark blue. The pattern is vertically oriented and is a dropped, straight repeat. This kind of indigo-resist print, known in the 18th century as a paste print, was created specifically for export to the American colonies.
Three widths of the printed fabric make up the face; two are selvage widths of 36”, and the third is 17 ½” wide. The quilting pattern consists of a chevron design, best visible on the back side of the quilt. This quilting design may be later than the date of the printed design. The thin layer of batting between the face and backing fabrics is undyed, and probably cotton. The backing fabric of cream-colored wool crepe was pieced first before being added to construct the quilt. Old Sturbridge Village has a quilt (26.112.13) with the same center fabric, which is attributed to Mary Wilbur (1781-1846) of Swansea, Massachusetts, and the Shelburne Museum also has a similar example (1956-683). See also quilt, HD F.087.
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