History Of Quilling

Paper Quilling


Brief Introduction to the History of Quilling

Quilling is also known as paper filigree, paper rolling, mosaic or paper folding (even though it is not really folded, it is curled). Although the origins of quilling are not recorded, some think it began just after the invention of paper, in China in 105AD.

Other sources state that quilling was practiced in ancient Egypt . one thing is certain, is has a rich history, and has been around for some time!

It is believed that in the 300s and 400s, silver and gold wire was quilled around pillars and vases, and beautiful jewellery was made using this technique. By the 1200s, this hobby was quite popular. Known as metal filigree, as materials became scarce and unobtainable to the lay person, it changed to paper filigree as paper was used. Many argue about where quilling originated, with many laying claim to it beginning in various countries. At least it would appear that quilling has a multicultural start in life!

Quilling is certainly documented from the 1200s, but it really came into its own in the 1500s and 1600s, when French and Italian nuns used the torn edges from guilt-edged bibles and goose feathers to quill and decorate religious articles and pictures. The use of goose feathers gave rise to the term .quilling.. The nuns (and, some believe, monks) quilled to replicate the more expensive intricacies of wrought iron or carved ivory, and if they couldn.t use gold or silver they used paper, then guilded the finished work.

Genteel women quilled in the late 1600s and early 1700s (the .Stuart. period), and history details quilling as becoming even more popular from the early 1700s to the early 1800s (the .Georgian. period) in Europe and England. Quilling was seen as a .proper. hobby for young ladies to take up . they were taught quilling along with needle point. Schools of the time advertised quilling as one of their classes, and examples of quilled work still exist, with the date and the name of the school girl and school pencilled on the back. It was certainly still popular in the early 1800s (the .Regency. period), but its popularity waned in the late 1800s. An attempt to re-introduce it was made in the late 1800s, but this was not too successful.

Quilling was never a pastime for working-class women. Instead, it flourished among the ladies of leisure in the upper classes, where it was used to decorate screens, cabinets, frames, tea caddies, cribbage boards, wine coasters, work baskets and work boxes, urns and even furniture over time. Only those with money could afford to purchase the supplies needed to quill . foil, mica or flaked shell were often used as backgrounds. And only the upper class ladies had time to quill . not needing to work, only filling in time until an eligible bachelor made them a wife.

The settlers took quilling to America, and it experienced a revival there.

The craft is now making a comeback with many guilds and clubs busily quilling, and the increase in popularity of scrapbooking has aided, with scrapbookers using quilling in their albums.

Quilling certainly has a rich and interesting, if contentious, history. And know that when you quill, you.re sharing something done by many different people over many different periods!

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