Saturday, January 11, 2014

Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff
Edition 2.5 [1-17]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

There are currently eight data bases on this blogspot, namely, the Glossary of Cultural and Architectural Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, the Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, the Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns, Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements, Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms and the Glossary of Scientific Terms, which has been updated to Version 3.5. All data bases will be updated from time-to-time in the future.

Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff is highly focused, containing timelines, definitions and terms pertinent to the title.

If you find any post on this blog site useful, you can save it or copy and paste it into your own "Word" document etc. for your future reference. For example, Safari allows you to save a post (e.g. click on "File", click on "Print" and release, click on "PDF" and then click on "Save As" and release - and a PDF should appear where you have stored it). Safari also allows you to mail a post to a friend (click on "File", and then point cursor to "Mail Contents On This Page" and release). Either way, this or other posts on this site may be a useful Art Resource for you.

The Art Resource series will be the first post in each calendar month. Remember - these Art Resource posts span information that will be useful for a home hobbyist to that required by a final year University Fine-Art student and so undoubtedly, some parts of any Art Resource post may appear far too technical for your needs (skip over those mind boggling parts) and in other parts, it may be too simplistic with respect to your level of knowledge (ditto the skip). The trade-off between these two extremes will mean that Art Resource posts will hopefully be useful in parts to most, but unfortunately may not be satisfying to all! The references - that were invaluable in this compilation - are given at the end of the glossary.

In Australian schools of yesteryear we learnt history using calendar events (e.g. 1066 AD was the battle of Hastings, where the Norman-French army of Duke William II defeated the English army under King Harold II etc.) Such timelines were a useful memory tool.

It is always instructive for your art practice to be aware of the historical events and associated imagery. For example, with my Codes installation I revisted primitive art (the earliest Graffiti - scratches on walls - known to human beings). The monumental geoglyphs from the Nazca Plains of Peru and Rock art from Namibia, were a complicated communication system, where symbols and metaphors were an important feature of its visual language and whose mythical world was difficult to interpret. I reworked the imagery on cloth to create a visual language of mystery.

(a) Petroglyph Dream (foreground).
Technique: Silk-screened, string block printed, sponged and hand painted on calico.
Size: 1.3 (width) x 3.2 (length) meters.
(b) Geoglyph Zooms (background).
Technique: Wax resist, hand painted, over-painted, lino-block and screen-printed on calico.
Size: 1.5 (width) x 3.5 (length) meters.

Whilst there are a large number of posts on the internet listing Timelines, including information contained in entries in Wikipedia, it is my intention to focus on timelines of fabrics, dyes and other stuff as an art resource in order to inform your art practice.

Without assistance of the references [1-17] given below, this post could not have been created. The "Timelines" (Version 1.4) has been updated to include the history of scarves.

Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff

Dawn of Time (Myth or Reality - depending on your belief system): The Bible describes how Adam and Eve made themselves aprons of fig-leaves after the "fall", and how they were expelled from the Garden of Eden wearing "...coats of skins."

Peter Paul Rubens' Painting of Adam and Eve (1598 - 1600).

ca. 600000 - 7000 BC: Chinese Paleolithic period.

ca. 28000 BC: Sewing needles used at Kostenki (Russia)>

ca. 27000 BC: Impressions of textiles and basketry and nets left on little pieces of hard clay.

ca. 25000 BC:Venus figurines depicted with clothing.

9000 BC - 3000 BC: The domestication of sheep, goats and dogs dates from 9,000 BC in the uplands of Zam Chem Shanidar and from 7,000 BC at Jarmo in the Zagros Mountains of north west Iran. In Israel and south Turkey it occurred from the 7,000 to 6,000 BC. Sheep rearing became major industry in Sumeria between 3,500 to 3,000 BC, by which time both hairy and wooly sheep were known.

Ancient goat like sheep.

There are 40 different breeds of sheep today, which produce approximately 200 types of wool of varying grades. Major producers today include Australia, New Zealand, Soviet States, China, South Africa, and Argentina.

Prior to 8000 BC: Flax was used as a fiber in the Near East. Largest producer of flax today is the Soviet Union; other large producers include Poland, Germany, Belgium, and France. Largest exporters are Northern Ireland and Belgium.

8000 BC: A burial couch found at Gordion in ancient Phrygia and dated to 8,000 BC was covered by some twenty layers of linen and wool cloth together with traces of Tyrian purple cloth and fragments of hemp and mohair.

7160 - 6150 BC: Israeli excavations reveal that the deserts of Israel provide ideal conditions for the preservation of fibers. Finds from the Neolithic Hemal Cave in the Judean desert dates from 7,160 to 6,150 BC; the finds include rope, netting, matting, spun and plied thread, chiefly flax, and tabby woven cloth as well as a blue-dyed textile with shell and bead decoration.

ca. 7000 - 600 BC: Chinese Neolithic period.

7000 BC: Flax was known in Syria and Turkey and was apparently the earliest plant source for fiber (linen) as well as an important source of oil (pressed from the seed). By 5,000 BC various flax species were known. Evidence shows that seed size increased over time suggesting that human beings were bio-engineering the plant by selecting and propagating the larger seed.

Flax Plant.

ca. 6500 BC: Approximate date of Naalebinding examples found in Nehal Hemar cave, Israel. This technique, which uses short separate lengths of thread, predated the invention of knitting (with its continuous lengths of thread) and requires that all of the as-yet unused thread be pulled through the loop in the sewn material. This requires much greater skill than knitting in order to create a fine product.

ca. 6000 BC: Evidence of woven textiles used to wrap the dead at Çatalhöyük in Anatolia.

6000 - 5000 BC: Flax was the commonest ancient plant fiber. Hemp, rush, palm and papyrus were also used. Papyrus requires a good water supply and settled communities for its cultivation. Seeds of domesticated flax found with spindle whorls together on the same site were indicative of textile activity. These have been found in Syria in Ramad (6,000 BC) in Samarran villages in northern Iraq (at Tel-es-Sawan and Choga Mami).

Uses of Hemp.

6000 - 3000 BC: Sheep were kept at Bougras in Syria from 6,000 BC and in Jordan and Israel from 3,000 BC - often simultaneously with flax cultivation in mixed farming economies, and by pastoral nomads, including the Old Testament Jewish tribes, whose sheep provided wool for tents from time immemorial.

6000 BC: The title of "earliest textile" has recently shifted from Egypt to Anatolia (modern day Turkey), with Egypt and Israel close contenders. James Mallet's dig at the Neolithic village of Catal Huyuk in southern Turkey dating from 6,000 BC, exposed fine-spun and plied-thread, plain weave tabby cloths and garments. Some of the tabby designs showed signs of being darned.

Fragments of earliest-known surviving textile; found at Çatalhöyük; 6th millennium BC; Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara, Turkey.

5500 BC: Excavations in the Tizra Valley in Hungary have discovered remains of several huts that date from approximately 5,500 BC. Some of the huts were equipped with sets of clay loom weights, along with the household gear. One excavation found the outlines of a vertical loom that was approximately 4 to 5 feet in width.

5000 BC: During the "stone age" humans needed to make items to either catch something, carry something or hold something. Thus they created the very first piece of thread (twine actually). Later - during the stone age period (Neolithic) - these same people would have developed the crafting of sinew to sew hides together to make clothing in the northern regions of Europe.

5000 BC: Mongolia and the Central Asian Steppes have uncovered important textile finds that date back to the 5th Century BC.

ca. 5000 BC: Production of linen cloth in Ancient Egypt, along with other bast fibers including rush, reed, palm, and papyrus.

4500 BC: The weaving loom was invented.

4200 BC: Date of Mesolithic examples of Naalebinding found in Denmark, marking spread of technology to Northern Europe.

4000 BC: Cotton seed dating from this period have been found in Pakistan.


Major producers of cotton today are the United States, Soviet States, China, and India. Lessor producers include Pakistan, Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, Mexico Iran, and Sudan.

4000 to 3200BC: (Israelites) Chalcolithic period. Ghassulian culture; open villages; copper industry; underground dwellings; round, apsidal and rectangular houses; highly developed art - ivory, copper, stone, frescoes.

3600 BC: The origin of silk production and weaving is ancient and clouded in legend. The industry undoubtedly began in China, where, according to native records, it existed from before the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. For many centuries the Chinese zealously guarded the source and methods of production of silk, but by the 1st millennium BC they had begun trading silk cloth abroad. The major producer and exporter of silk today are Japan.

ca. 3400 BC: An ivory carving, found in Temple of Osiris at Abydos in 1903 and currently in the collection of the British Museum, features the king of the Egyptian First Dynasty wearing a mantle/cloak that appears to be quilted.

ca. 3400 BC: In 1903 a carved ivory figure of a Pharoah from the Egyptian First Dynasty ca. 3400 BC was discovered. The Pharoah was wearing what appears to be a quilted mantle.

3300 BC: The "Iceman" (also spelt "Ice man" or "ÖTZI") is the oldest mummified human body ever found intact. It was found by a German tourist, Helmut Simon, on the Similaun Glacier in the Tirolean Ötztal Alps, on the Italian-Austrian border, on the 19th September, 1991. Radiocarbon-dated the body to 3,300 BC. The body was that of a man aged between 25 to 35 years old, who had been approximately 1.6 m (5 feet 2 inches) tall and had weighed ca. 50 kg (110 pounds). He apparently fell victim to exposure or exhaustion while crossing the Alps and died due to the freezing temperatures. The small rocky hollow in which he lay down to die was soon covered (and protected) by glacial ice that happened to be melting 5,300 years later when his body was discovered by modern human being. His nickname, Ötzi, stems from the Ötztal Alps, where he was found. The Iceman's body showed no signs of disease, although he had a broken nose and several recently fractured ribs. His few remaining scalp hairs provided the earliest archaeological evidence of haircutting, and the short blue lines on his skin (lower spine, left leg, and right ankle) have been variously interpreted as the earliest known tattoos or as scars remaining from a Neolithic therapeutic procedure. The various clothes and accouterments found with him are truly remarkable, since they formed the gear of a Neolithic traveler. The Iceman's basic piece of clothing was an unlined fur robe stitched together from pieces of ibex (wild goat), chamois, and deer skin. A woven grass cape and a furry cap provided additional protection from the cold, and he wore shoes made of leather and stuffed with grass. The Iceman was equipped with a small copper-bladed axe and a flint dagger, both with wooden handles as well as 14 arrows made of viburnum and dogwood, two of which had flint points and feathers. He had a fur arrow quiver and a bow made of yew; a grass net that may have served as a sack; a leather pouch; and a U-shaped wooden frame that apparently served as a backpack to carry this gear. His scant food supply consisted of a sloeberry, mushrooms, and a few gnawed ibex bones.

Reconstructed face of the Iceman.

3200 - 2200 BC: (Israelites) Early Canaanite (bronze) Period. Cultural contacts with Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Cyprus; fortified urban settlements, sanctuaries, and high places.

Prior to 3000 BC: Wool was used as a fiber in the Near East.

3rd Millennium BC: Plaited and woven cloth were found in several localities, including Egypt and the lake dwellings of Switzerland.

Prior to 2640 BC: Silk was used as a fiber.

2600 BC: One of the earliest written record of the use of dyestuffs in China.

2380 - 2167 BC: Egyptian reliefs and wall paintings, like those at Beni-Hasan, showed what the earliest primitive horizontal looms looked like.

Two women weavers crouching at a horizontal loom Tomb of Khnumhotep, 12th dynasty, Beni Hassan.

ca. 2200 BC: Kermes is formed from either the scale insect Kermes ilicis or the bright-red dye obtained from the dried bodies of these insects. The oldest known red dyestuff, resembling but inferior to cochineal, was used by the early Egyptians.

2200 - 1500 BC: (Israelites) Middle Canaanite (Bronze) Period. The age of the patriarchs. Strong political and cultural ties with Egypt; small city-states; strongly fortified cities; horses and war chariots in Canaan and Egypt; beginnings of pictographic writing; development of ceramic and metal industries; first mention of Jerusalem in Egyptian inscription.

2070 - 1600 BC: Xia Dynasty.

2026 BC: A tablet of 2,026 BC records a loan of Ur's Temple of Nanna to a merchant of "...sixty talents of wool, seventy garments and 180 skeins for buying copper from Makan." Ur also traded up river to Babylon and Mari in north Syria.

1800 BC: Ur's principal export became wool and the Law of Hammurabi (1,800 BC) lists wool as an export from Babylon.

1600 BC: Variously known as Royal purple, Tyrian purple is the purple of the ancients. This ancient dyestuff, mentioned in texts dating about 1,600 BC, was produced from the mucus of the hypobranchial gland of various species of marine mollusks - notably Murex. Although originating in Tyre (hence the name), man's first large scale chemical industry spread throughout the world. With the decline of the Roman Empire, the use of the dye also declined and large scale production ceased with the fall of Constantinople on 29th May 1453. It was replaced by other cheaper dyes like lichen purple and madder. Thais haemastoma is an European equivalent of the Murex.

1600 - 1200 BC: Hallstatt is in upper Austria. It is internationally renowned for its prehistoric salt mines. The climatic conditions in the mines are such that organic materials – such as textiles – were preserved for over 3,000 years. They are some of the oldest dyed textiles in Europe, since they have been dated from the Bronze Age (ca. 1,600 – 1,200 BC) to the Early Iron Age (Hallstatt Culture, 850 – 350 BC).

Iron Age woven cloth from the Hallstatt salt mines.
Courtesy of Natural History Museum, Vienna.

ca. 1600 - 1027 BC: Shang Dynasty.

1500 BC: The vertical loom was introduced, with one twist. It was operated by males. In Egypt, the vertical loom replaced the horizontal loom that had been around for almost 3,000 years.

1500 - 1200 BC: (Israelites) Late Canaanite (Bronze) Period. Egyptian domination of Canaan and administration based on Canaanite petty kingdoms; Amarna Age; Exodus and conquest of Canaan by Israeli tribe (Moses and Joshua); extensive international trade; alphabet writing.

ca. 1400 BC: The tomb of Pharaoh Tuthmosis II, certainly contained cloth with papyrus and lotus blossom design, although it is possible that the design was embroidered or even painted on.

1370 BC: 1,370 Chemical tests of red fabrics from Tell el `Amara, Egypt, showed the presence of alizarin, a pigment extracted from madder (Rubia tinctorum).

A painted swatch of Madder lake (Alizarin).

1350 BC: Egyptian Queen Nefertiti wore a finely woven scarf topped by a conical headdress.

Prior to 1300 BC: Cotton was used as a fiber.

12th Century BC: The oldest sources of Chinese script are the oracle bones of the late Shang Dynasty 商 (12th century BC), but these inscriptions were only discovered in the last decade of the 19th century. Incised in tortoise plastrons, scholars call this script jiaguwen 甲骨文 "Tortoise Bone Script". At the same time, ritual bronze vessels were not only decorated with wonderful patterns (wen 紋) but also inscribed with a text in a style called jinwen 金文 "Bronze Script". This writing style was somewhat different to the oracle bone inscriptions because of regional differences and historical development with simplifications, but also with more difficult and complex characters than before.

1200 - 1000BC: Israelites (Iron) Period I. Invasion of the sea people; settlement in Canaan of Israelite tribes; period of the judges; Philistine city-states.

ca. 1046 - 771 BC: Western Zhou Dynasty.

1000 BC: Chinese sculptures featured a scarf-like, fringed rectangular piece of cloth.

1000 - 587 BC: Israelite (Iron) Period II. United monarchy (Saul, David, Solomon); struggle with Philistines; political expansion of Israel at its peak; economic prosperity (mining, foreign trade); ties with Phoenicia; divided monarchy (Kingdoms of Judah and Israel); fall of Samaria (722 BC); kingdom of Judah; struggle between Egypt and Assyria; destruction of Jerusalem and the first temple (587 BC); development of fortifications and warfare; Phoenician and Aramaean influences; the prophets.

980 BC: A quilted funeral tent canopy was found in the tomb of Queen Esi-mem-kev of Egypt, who lived about 980 BC.

945 - 745 BC: Pattern textiles in which basic weave was supplemented by inlaid weft threads were found in Egypt, dated from the 22nd Dynasty.

8th Century BC: In the Illiad Homer speaks enthusiastically of "Babylonian cloths", and it is very likely that these "babylonica peristromata" are the same as the wall hangings and fabrics to which Pliny refers and for which Nero and Scipio paid Roman art-dealers such fantastic prices.

Front Cover of the Illiad - Penguin Books Limited, 30/01/2003 - Poetry - 462 pages.

770 - 476 BC: Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Note: also known as Spring and Autumn period.

770 BC - 221 BC: Chinese silk ornamental quilts are excavated from tombs dating from the Eastern Zhou dynasty.

715 BC: Wool dyeing was established as craft in Rome.

Front Cover - The World of Roman Costume, edited by Judith Lynn Sebesta, Larissa Bonfante.

7th - 6th Century BC: Apart from wool and linen, the Assyrians were also familiar with silk - probably obtained from some of their supplies from silkworms.

694 BC: Trees bearing wool (cotton) were introduced to Assyria by Sennacherib.

6th - 4th Century BC: Achaemenid (Persian Dynasty).

5th - 3rd Century BC: Examples of surviving Chinese chain stitch embroidery worked in silk thread have been dated to the Warring States period.

Detail of an embroidered silk gauze ritual garment. Rows of even, round chain stitches are used both for outline and to fill in color. From a 4th century BC, Zhou era tomb at Mashan, Hubei province, China.

587 - 332 BC: Persian Period. Neo-Babylonian Period (587 - 537 BC); Persian domination from 537 BC; Cyrus's edict on Jewish rights; return from Babylonian captivity; Ezra and Nehemiah; building of second temple and the walls of Jerusalem; Judah autonomous with Persian empire; duke of high priests and the great assembly at Jerusalem.

490 BC: Quilting was known to the ancient Persians and at the time of the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) where quilted garments were worn as armour.

Depiction of a 13th century Gambeson (a padded defensive jacket worn as armour).

475 - 221 BC: Warring States period.

400 BC: Aperlae (in present-day Turkey) was likely established in the 4th century BC to harvest marine snails, the source of a coveted dye known as "Tyrean purple", which was used by Roman emperors and others of the region's elite. Although no written history of Aperlae exists, the archaeological evidence indicates it was once home to about 2,000 people - despite its lack of fresh water and abysmal coastline location for maritime activity. The evidence for the city's surprising origins includes a large mound of murex snail shells piled on its outskirts and three large, rectangular tanks now submerged in the harbor area. The brick tanks, the largest of which measured, 27 feet by 18 feet by 6 feet, were probably used to manufacture and store the dye, which may have been shipped by small vessels to larger harbors in the region. The real mystery seemed to be why the city was ever established there in the first place. "I'm convinced these tanks hold the key to the city's existence. It looks like the city was developed to take advantage of this natural resource." The research project was undertaken by Hohlfelder, University of Maryland Architecture Professor Lindley Vann and several students, including CU-Boulder undergraduates Davis Alvey and Christopher Bowles. The little known site was brought to Hohlfelder's attention by American Bob Carter, 83, who briefly explored it in the 1970s and he accompanied the team to the Aperlae in June 1996. Located on the southern coast of Turkey, 15 miles east of the port city of Kas, Aperlae is being surveyed in co-operation with the Turkish Ministry of Culture.

Byzantine Emperor Justinian I clad in Tyrian purple, 6th-century mosaic at Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy.

4th - 3rd Century BC: Designs with tendrils, acanthus leaves, and ducks and stag's heads worked in wool, illustrated the Hellenistic style of this period.

4th - 1st Century BC: Ptolemaic (Egyptian) Dynasty.

4th - 1st Century BC: Seleucid (Hellenic) Dynasty.

4th Century BC: Wax resist dyeing technique in fabric is an ancient art form. Discoveries show it already existed in Egypt in the 4th century BC, where it was used to wrap mummies; linen was soaked in wax, and scratched using a sharp tool.

332 - 37 BC: (Israelites). Hellenistic Period Hasmonaean Dynasty. Rule of Ptolemies and Seleucids; foundation of Hellenistic cities; Hellenization of country and religious reaction in Maccabean period; Maccabean War of Liberation; Hasmonaean Dynasty;Pompey's conquest (63 BC) beginning of Roman rule; earlier Apocrypha; Septuagint; Dead Sea Scrolls.

331 BC: The Greek General Alexander the Great discovered 190 year old purple robes when he conquered Susa (the capital of Persia). They were in the royal treasury and said to be worth $6 million (US) (equivalent).

327 BC: India developed the art of cotton dyeing. Alexander (the Great) found "...beautiful printed cottons" in India.

272 BC: Specimens of silk cloth were found in Palmyra, before the city was destroyed.

236 BC: An Egyptian papyrus mentions dyers as "...stinking of fish, with tired eyes and hands working unceasingly".

230 BC: Warriors of the Chinese Emperor Cheng wore scarves made of cloth, which marked military rank.

221 - 206 BC: Qin Dynasty.

206 BC - 220 AD: Han Dynasty. Note: Western Han Dynasty, 206 BC - AD 25 (also Xin 9 - 24 AD); Eastern Han Dynasty, 25 - 220 AD.

200 BC to 200 AD: Approximate date of earliest evidence of "Needle Knitting" in Peru, a form of Naalebinding that preceded local contact with the Spanish.

2nd Century Onwards: As a result of various finds made by Aurel Stein at Jarin Bechen and Loulan, the route the silk caravans took across Central Asia is now known today, even though no actual costume fabrics were discovered. The chief centers of the silk industry developed at the Western end of the caravan route, in towns like Tyre and Berytus (Beirut), which had the additional advantage over smaller centers of being able to dye the silk with "real" purple. It was only after the introduction of sericulture in the reign of Justinian that Constantinople was able to compete with these markets.

130 BC - 273 AD: Textiles found in Israel obeyed the Jewish Law (Shaatnez), prohibiting the mixing of animal and vegetable fibers, but otherwise were similar to textiles woven elsewhere. In the Cave of Letters, 132 BC - AD 35, indigo and purple dyed yarns, white wool tent yarn, plain and striped tabbies, garments and linen scroll-wrappers were found. At the Masada, destroyed by the Romans in 273 AD, the baskets and mats of the Zealots - who died there - were preserved with household cloths, tapestry, clothing and sandals.

114 BC: The caravan route that brought raw silk from China to the borders of Persia and Bactria had been operating since this date. About this time too the use of gold thread was gradually becoming established.

1st Century BC - 2nd Century AD: In 1924 archaeologists discovered a quilted floor covering in Mongolia. They estimated that it dates from somewhere between the first century BC to the second century AD.

The center of the quilt is filled with a pattern of large clockwise and counterclockwise spirals, with smaller spirals between, forming a continuous pattern. The inner border is a band of geometric shapes, outlined with cord and quilted to the foundation. The outer borders (detail below) are quilted in small diamonds, and appliquéd with small trees and pairs of battling animals filled with closely spaced lines of additional quilting.

55 BC: Romans soldiers discovered in Scotland a peoples who painted with Woad dye ("the Picts" used the same color content as indigo). Madder and Indigo dyes have been found in several Roman graves, thus replacing Purpura (old Imperial Purple). Purpura was a mollusk of which only several small glands were used in the making of the Purpura. Some people believe that the name purple came from the name of the mollusk. The actual color of the Purpura was more of a crimson than purple. At Taranto in southern Italy there still stands a hill that is composed totally of the shells of the Purpura mollusk. Over use eventually drove the mollusk to near extinction levels even to this day.

37 BC - 132 AD: (Israelites). Herodian Period Roman Period I. Hellenistic - Roman culture in the country. Herodian Dynasty (Roman governance - Pontius Pilate); Jesus and the beginning of Christianity; first war against Romans; Dead Sea Scrolls; Destruction of Jerusalem and second temple (70 AD); Jewish religious centre at Yavne.

10 AD: Romans wore a linen kerchief or “sudarium” (Latin for “sweat cloth”) knotted around the waist or around the neck.

60 AD: The Emperor Nero rarely appeared in public without a sudarium around his neck.

73 - 324 AD: Isaelites. Roman Period II-III. Completion of the Mishnah.; general crisis in the third century (decline of agriculture); inflation and barbarian invasions; recovery of empire under Diocletian and Constantine; Roman theatres (Caesarea, Beit Shearim); early synagogues; Jewish diaspora.

92 AD: Yuan an bei (stone tablets); written in Small Seal Script (calligraphy).

132 - 135 AD: Israelites. Bar Kokhba. Second war against Rome. Bar Kokhba Letters.

3rd Century AD: Papyrus found in a grave and it contained the oldest dye recipe known for imitation purple - called Stockholm Papyrus. It was a Greek work.

Stockholm Papyrus.

3rd Century AD: Fish. Fragment of a wall-handing or cover. Wool on linen. Egyptian, from Antinoe; excavated by Gayey. Now held in the Musee du Louvre, Paris. There is an identical piece in the textile museum in Lyons.

Fish. Fragment of a wall-handing or cover.

2nd - 3rd Centuries AD: Roman graves found with madder and indigo dyed textiles. These dyes replaced the old Imperial Purple (purpura).

Extract of natural indigo applied to paper.

ca. 200 AD: Earliest woodblock printing from China. Flowers in three colors on silk.

218 AD: Elagabalus (AD 218-222) was the first Roman emperor to wear silk. Later, looms were set up to weave silk, but China retained control of sericulture, exporting only silk thread or fabric, both of which were prohibitively expensive. In the 3rd Century a decree was issued by Emperor Theodosium of Byzantium forbidding the wearing of Royal Purple (Purpura) except for the Royal Family, on pain of death. It is believed that this action was taken to protect the mollusk Purpura from extinction.

Bust of Elagabalus from the Capitoline Museums.

220 AD - 589 AD: Wei, Jin (Jurchen), and Northern and Southern Dynasty. Note: Three Kingdoms, 220 - 280 AD; Western Jin Dynasty, 265 - 317 AD; Eastern Jin Dynasty, 317 - 420 AD; Northern and Southern Dynasties, 420 - 589 AD (Sixteen Kingdoms, 317 - 439 AD; Former Zhao, 304 - 329 AD; Former Qin, 351 - 383 AD; Later Qin, 384 - 417 AD; Northern Wei, 386 - 534 AD; Western Wei, 535 - 556 AD; Northern Zhou, 557 - 581 AD).

247 AD: – Dura-Europos, a Roman outpost, is destroyed. Excavations of the city discovered early examples of naalebinding fabric.

273 AD: The wife of Emperor Aurelian ordered a Purpura dyed silk garment. The Emperor decrees that the sale be canceled. The silk was imported from China (using the China "silk road" trade route, which was established just before this date). The cost of the silk garment for Aurelian's wife would have cost its weight in gold. That is how much the various traders charged for silk per order.

Silk Road.

298 AD: Earliest attestation of a foot-powered loom, with a hint that the invention arose at Tarsus.

3rd - 4th Century AD: Cloth with tapestry-woven bands with a design of vine tendrils and birds. Wool on linen. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Cloth with tapestry-woven bands with a design of vine tendrils and birds.

3rd - 4th Century AD: Hare. Rectangular tapestry-woven panel. Wool and linen. Multicolored border with a surround of natural colored, long-threaded looped weave. Egyptian, from Faiyum. Musee Historique des Tissus, Lyons.

Hare. Rectangular tapestry-woven panel.

3rd - 4th Century AD: Nereid. Square panel. Border with vines and birds. Wool on linen. Egyptian; Museum of Art, Cleveland.

Nereid. Square panel.

3rd - 4th Century AD: Female head. Fragment. Wool on linen. Egyptian; Institute of Arts, Detroit.

Female head. Fragment.

3rd - 4th Century AD: Head of Dionysus. One of a pair: in the other the head is looking in the opposite direction. Linen and wool. Egyptian. Textile Museum, Washington.

Head of Dionysus.

3rd - 4th Century AD: Peacocks. Fragment of a reliquary cloth. Silk twill. Iranian. Aachen Cathedral treasure (Germany).

Peacocks. Fragment of a reliquary cloth.

ca. 3rd - 7th AD: In a garment from Migration period Sweden, the edges of bands of trimming are reinforced with running stitch, back stitch, stem stitch, tailor's buttonhole stitch, and whipstitching, but it is uncertain whether this work simply reinforced the seams or should be interpreted as decorative embroidery.

4th Century AD: Peacock. Rectangular panel. Wool on linen. Wide linen surround of looped weave. Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany.

Peacock. Rectangular panel.

4th Century AD: Two nereids; borders with birds. Length 1.43 meters. Wool on linen. Egyptian from Akhmin. Collection Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, USA. Related to Egyptian wool-embroidered fabric.

Two nereids; borders with birds.

4th Century AD: Venus and Adonis. Roundel with square surround. Wool on linen. Egyptian. Collection E. Kofler-Truniger, Lucerne, France.

Venus and Adonis.

4th Century AD: Pheasant. Fragment in a rather poor state of preservation. Silk twill. From a reliquary in the Sancta Sanctorum in the Lateran in Rome, Italy.


4th - 5th Century AD: Nereids riding sea-monsters. Fragments of four rows. Silk twill. Sion Cathedral treasure. Formerly uses as a reliquary cloth. There are other fragments in the Berlin and Zurich museums. Similar motifs in Alexandrian bone carvings suggest that the cloth may have been made in Egypt.

Nereids riding sea-monsters.

4th - 5th Century AD: Orante. Fragment, probably a wall-hanging. Wool on linen. Looped weave. Egyptian. Textile Museum, Washington, USA.


4th - 5th Century AD: Fragment, with a powerful fluid representation of a Biblical scene - the sacrifice of Isaac. Cooper Union Museum, New York, USA.

Fragment, with a powerful fluid representation of a Biblical scene - the sacrifice of Isaac.

4th - 5th Century AD: Head in a surround decorated with vine stems. Rectangular panel. Wool on linen. Egyptian from Akhmim. Collection Berard, Paris, France.

Head in a surround decorated with vine stems.

4th - 5th Century AD: Head in a surround decorated with vine stems. Rectangular panel. Wool on linen. Egyptian from Akhmim. Museum fur angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria.

Head in a surround decorated with vine stems.

4th - 5th Century AD: Hestia polyolbos; slightly damaged. Height 1.13 meters. Wool on linen. Collection Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, USA.

Hestia polyolbos.

301 AD: Diocletian issued an edict fixing the prize of raw silk material at 4,000 gold pieces per kilogram.

324 - 640 AD: Israelites. Byzantine Period. Rule by Byzantine Empire; completion of Jerusalem Talmud; synagogues and churches; development of mosaic art.

330 AD: Byzantium, which Constantine the Great chose as his capital in this year, became in due course, one of the main centers for the production and distribution of cloth.

369 AD: Valens and Valentinian issued a decree granting Constantinople the sole right to manufacture gold and silk lace - like that found in Thessalonica.

ca. 5th Century AD: Nilotic scene. Decorative panel. Wool on linen. Louvre, Paris. Pagan motifs were frequently used by Coptic weavers, who developed them according to their own taste.

Nilotic scene.

5th Century AD: Orante. Fragment - probably from a curtain. Height 69.8 cm. Wool on linen. Looped weave. Egyptian from Schech Sayet. Institute of Arts, Detroit, USA.


5th Century AD: Decorative panel. Wool on linen. Egyptian, from Akhmim. Collection Berard, Paris, France.

Decorative panel.

5th Century AD: Decorative panel. Wool on linen. Kunstgewerbe Museum, Hamburg, Germany.

Decorative panel.

5th Century AD: Portrait of a man. Egyptian, from Akhmim. Collection Berard, Paris, France.

Portrait of a man.

5th Century AD: Curtain with a design of horses and lions. Woolen fragment. Egyptian, from Antinoe. Collection Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, USA.

Curtain with a design of horses and lions.

5th Century AD: Cock. Fragment, originally a tondo. Wool on linen. Egyptian from Akhmim. Collection Berard, Paris, France.


5th Century AD: Portrait of a man. Fragment of wool and linen on linen. Egyptian. Institute of Arts, Detroit, USA.

Portrait of a man.

5th - 6th Century AD: Vase with the Tree of Life. Panel. Wool on linen. Egyptian. Museum fur angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria.

Vase with the Tree of Life.

5th - 6th Century AD: Battle scene featuring a Sassanian king. Fragment of a pair of trousers; wool. Egyptian, from Antinoe. Musee Historique des Tissus, Lyons, France.

Battle scene featuring a Sassanian King.

5th - 6th Century AD: Winged horses. Fragment, probably of a curtain; wool. Egyptian from Antinoe. Musee Historique des Tissus, Lyons, France.

Winged horses.

5th - 6th Century AD: Roundel with putti. Wool on linen. Egyptian. Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany.

Roundel with putti.

5th - 6th Century AD: Roundel of the Adoration of the Magi. Wool on linen. The upper part is damaged. Egyptian from Akhmim. Collection Berard, Paris, France.

Roundel of the Adoration of the Magi.

400 AD: Purpura became almost extinct. Most species of Murex exude a yellow fluid that when exposed to sunlight, became a purple dye. The dye murex (Murex brandaris) of the Mediterranean was once a source of royal Tyrian purple. One pound of cloth dyed with Murex was worth ca. $25,000 in terms of our money today. (Source: Emperor Augustus).

Murex brandaris.

409 AD: Alaric demanded 4,000 silk tunics from Rome. This indicates that were a vast number of such garments in existence at that time. According to Ammianus Marcellinus (339-400), even the masses wore them.

424 AD: Theodosius II banned the production of purple silk by private enterprise.

454 - 456 AD: A large Egyptian curtain containing two portraits was dated in this period. It is in the collection of the Musees d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels. It is composed of a wool on linen. It came from Antinoe and has two busts in the top half - perhaps Aurelius Colluthus and his wife Tisoia. Papyri found with the curtain provided the date, which agrees with dates attributed to similar fabrics on purely stylistic grounds.

A large Egyptian curtain containing two portraits.

482 - 565 AD: Two monks returning from China brought Justinian I silk worm eggs hidden in a stick. As a result Byzantium was able to free itself from the enormous cost of transporting the material and the high duties levied by the Persians.

Life cycle of a silk worm.

6th Century AD: Decorative roundel with two horsemen. Wool on linen. Egyptian. Cooper Union Museum, New York, USA.

Decorative roundel with two horsemen.

6th Century AD: Decorative roundel with two horseman. Wool on linen. Egyptian. Textile Museum, Washington, USA.

Decorative roundel with two horseman.

6th Century AD: Material with figural design. Egyptian. Louvre, Paris, France.

Material with figural design.

6th Century AD: Roundel of Joseph's dream. Wool on linen. Part of the border has been torn away. Egyptian, from Akhmim. Statisches Museum, Tier, Germany.

Roundel of Joseph's dream.

6th - 8th Century AD: Merovingian (Frankish) Dynasty.

500 AD: Jia tie method for resist dyeing (usually silk) using wood blocks invented in China. An upper and a lower block is made, with carved out compartments opening to the back, fitted with plugs. The cloth, usually folded a number of times, is inserted and clamped between the two blocks. By unplugging the different compartments and filling them with dyes of different colors, a multicoloured pattern can be printed over quite a large area of folded cloth.

500 to 1000 AD: Spinning wheel in use in India.

581 - 618 AD: Sui Dynasty.

7th Century AD: Medallion with huntsman on foot. Silk twill. Fragment in two pieces. Syrian (?) Collection Kofler-Truniger, Lucerne, Switzerland.

Medallion with huntsman on foot.

600 AD: Oldest samples of cloth printed by Woodblock printing from Egypt.

618 - 907 AD: Tang Dynasty.

640 - 1099 AD: Israelites. Early Arab Period. Rise of Islam; Arab conquest of the region; foundation of Ramleh; building of Dome of the Rock (Omar Mosque).

680 - 690 AD: Material with a pattern of quadrigas in medallions. Silk twill. Fragment; three and a half medallions (diameter 22 cm) have survived. Reliquary cloth from the shrine of the abbess Landrada in Munsterbilsen (Germany). Syrian (?) Musees d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, Belgium.

Material with a pattern of quadrigas in medallions.

6th - 7th Century AD: Senmurv. Silk twill. From the reliquary of St. Leu in Paris, France. Victoria and Albert Museum.


6th - 7th Century AD: Cock. Silk twill in superb condition. From a reliquary in the Sancta Sanctorum. Museo Sacro, Vatican, Italy.


6th - 7th Century AD: Pattern material of silk twill. Height 67 cm. Iranian (?) Aachen Cathedral treasure (Germany).

Pattern material of silk twill.

6th - 7th Century AD: Material with a medallion pattern. Wool on linen. Egyptian. Stadtisches Museum, Trier, Germany.

Material with a medallion pattern.

6th - 7th Century AD: In Java, Indonesian batik predates written records. G. P. Rouffaer argues that the technique might have been introduced during the 6th or 7th century from India or Sri Lanka. On the other hand, JLA. Brandes (a Dutch archeologist) and F.A. Sutjipto (an Indonesian archeologist) believe Indonesian batik is a native tradition, from regions such as Toraja, Flores, Halmahera, and Papua, which were not directly influenced by Hinduism and have an old age tradition of batik making.

18th Century Royal Banner, Jakarta Textile Museum (Indonesia).
Handspun cotton, silk, natural dyes, batik, mordant printing.
Size: 322 cm (width) x 172 cm (length).

6th - 7th Century AD: Rectangular panel with a horseman. Wool on linen. Egyptian, from Arkhmim. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

Rectangular panel with a horseman.

6th - 8th Century AD: Panel with a pattern figures. Wool on linen. Egyptian. Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany.

Panel with a pattern figures.

6th - 8th Century AD: Clavus with male figures. Wool on linen. Fragment. Egyptian. Staaliche Museen, Berlin, Germany.

Clavus with male figures.

6th - 8th Century AD: Part of a decorative sleeve band with two horsemen. Silk. Egyptian, from Akhmim. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

Part of a decorative sleeve band with two horsemen.

6th - 9th Century AD: Survivals of pieced work from 6th and 9th century India in the form of large banners show that patchwork today is little altered from its ancient precedents.

552 - 646 AD: The earliest fragments of Japanese textiles dates from the Asuka period (552-646). From studying fragments of pottery designs and techniques suggests that two very distinct types of Neolithic cultures were evident: the prehistoric Jomon period lasted several thousand years, ending in the third century BC; near the end of the Neolithic age, ushered in the Yayoi period an agrarian era. It is clear that the clothes of the hunters and gathers (Jomon) was vastly different to the clothes needed in an agrarian society (Yayoi), although little is known of the dress in each of these periods.

618 - 907 AD: The Batik technique was practiced in China during the T'ang dynasty (618 - 907 AD). In Africa it was originally practiced by the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, Soninke and Wolof in Senegal.

Wax-resist dyed textile from Niya (Tarim Basin), China.

645 - 794 AD: Batik was practiced in India and Japan during the Nara period (645 - 794 AD).

7th Century AD: Medallion with two horsemen. Silk. Syrian (?) Church treasure of St. Servatius, Maastricht.

Medallion with two horsemen.

7th Century AD: Samson (David?) and the lion. One of two fragments. Silk twill, Syrian (?) Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

Samson (David?) and the lion.

7th Century AD: Lozenge pattern with leaves arranged in the shape of a cross, and the monogram of the Emperor Heraclius (610 - 641 AD). Silk serge. Very fragmented. From the Madelbert shrine in Liege. Musee Diocesan, Liege, France. See two images below.

7th Century AD: Hippocampi. Silk. Byzantine. Musees d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, Belgium.


7th - 8th Century AD: Decorative bands. Wool and linen on linen. Egyptian, from Akhmim. Stadtisches Museum Tier, Germany.

Decorative bands.

7th - 8th Century AD: Decorative band. Wool on linen. Egyptian, from Arkhmin. Staatliche, Museen, Berlin, Germany.

Decorative band.

8th Century AD: Part of a medallion with two horsemen. Silk. Sant'Ambrogio, Milan. Used to cover the inner faces of doors of the gold altar (835) of Sant'Ambrogio. The rider has been identified with the Sassanian King Bahram V Gor (420 - 438 AD), who was given the cognomen Gor (wild ass) as a result of this legendary feat.

Part of a medallion with two horsemen.

8th Century AD: Nativity. Silk serge. Fragment. Syrian (?) Museo Sacro, Vatican, Italy.


8th Century AD: In Japan, the earliest known example of cloth dyed with a shibori technique dates from the 8th century; it is among the goods donated by the Emperor Shōmu to the Tōdai-ji in Nara. Until the 20th century, not many fabrics and dyes were in widespread use in Japan. The main fabrics were silk and hemp, and later cotton. The main dye was indigo and, to a lesser extent, madder and purple root. Shibori and other textile arts, such as tsutsugaki, were applied to all of these fabrics and dyes.

Susan Fell-Mclean: Multiplicity.
Installation Description: Fourteen redgum blocks make up a heliocentric spiral and support bamboo uprights onto which eight panels of wool are stretched. The viewer is able to walk into the spiral and around all sides of the sculpture.
Materials Used: Wool (nun’s cloth), prefelt wool tops, silk, cotton thread. Dyed with eucalyptus, chinese scrub, mudguts from a regdum, bamboo, and redgum slabs.
Techniques: Itajime shibori, stitch and dry felting.
Dimensions: 2.5m height, with a spiral area of approximately five square meters.

8th Century AD: Annunciation. Decorative band of silk serge; double warp. From the Sancta Santorum, Rome. Syrian (?) In five colors. Museo Sacro, Vatican, Italy.


8th Century AD: Medallion with a quadriga design. Silk serge. From Charlemagne's tomb Aachen, Germany. Byzantine. Aachen Cathedral treasure. Height 76 cm, diameter 66 cm.

Medallion with a quadriga design.

8th Century AD: Men hunting wild animals. Silk serge Fragment. The upper medallion is complete, but only a quarter of the lower one has survived. From a reliquary in the Sancta Sanctorum. Byzantine (?) Museo Sacro, Vatican, Italy.

Men hunting wild animals.

8th Century AD: Winged horses. Silk serge. Fragment. Part of the upper row has been cut off. Length 21.2 cm. Formerly in the treasure of the Sancta Sanctorum, where it was used as a cushion for the enamel cross of Pope Paschal (817 - 824 AD). Byzantine. Museo Sacro, Vatican, Italy.

Winged horses.

8th - 9th Century AD: Pillow and sudarium of St. Remigius. Senmurv design. Silk twill. Byzantine (or Persian). St. Remi, Rheims, France. The Sudarium was placed by Bishop Himcmar of Rheims over the body of St. Remigius (died 533 AD) when it was moved to the newly-built church (852 AD).

Pillow and sudarium of St. Remigius.

8th - 9th Century AD: A slipper of quilted felt patched with leather discovered on the Silk Road near the present Sino-Russian border. The slipper is currently housed in the British Museum, London.

8th - 10th Century AD: O'Neill/Ui Neill (Irish) Dynasty.

8th - 10th Century AD: Carolinian/Carlovingian (Frankish) Dynasty.

8th - 11th Century AD: Umayyad/Ommiad (Arabian) Dynasty.

8th - 13th Century AD: Abbassids (Arabic) Dynasty.

ca. 700 AD: Batik was developed in South-East Asia as a wax resist technique. This technique was recorded in an ancient Chinese manuscript.

761 AD: Medallion with an emperor on a lion-hunt. Pieces are missing from the top and both sides. Calamanco. Height 73.5 cm. From St. Calmin in Mozac (Puy-de-Dome), formerly in the tomb of St. Austremoine. Donated to Mozac by Pippin the Short in 761. Musee Historique des Tissus, Lyons, France.

Medallion with an emperor on a lion-hunt.

768 AD: The Ten Stone Drums (Shi Shigu 十石鼓) were discovered during the Tang Dynasty. Many characters of the inscriptions are not longer discernable. Originally counting some 730 characters, and only half of it can be read today. But preserved Song Dynasty rubbings give a quite clear picture of the engraved poems that celebrate the hunting expeditions of a duke of the state of Qin in 768 AD.

9th Century AD: Varangian (Russo - Scandinavian) Dynasty.

9th Century AD: Medallion with elephant-strangler design; very fragmented. Silk serge. Byzantine. Collection Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, USA.

Medallion with elephant-strangler design.

9th - 10th Century AD: Lions. Purple silk serge. From the tomb of St. Julian in Rimini. Byzantine. Museo Naziosle, Ravenna, Spain.


9th - 10th Century AD: Two lions. Silk serge. Fragment. The bottom half and parts of the surround on both left and right are missing. From the Sancta Sanctorum. Byzantine. Museo Sacro, Vatican, Italy.

Two lions.

9th - 14th: Arpad (Hungarian) Dynasty.

827 AD: In Sicily after the Arab conquest, beautiful fabrics were produced in the palace workshops at Palermo.

10th - 11th Century: Griffon. Only the protome of the animal has survived. Fragment from a reliquary. Silk serge. Spanish. Church treasure, Maastricht, Germany.


10th - 12th: Fatimids (North African) Dynasty.

10th - 14th Century: Capetian (French) Dynasty.

925 AD: Germany established a Wool Dyers Guild.

907 - 960 AD: Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms.

916 - 1125 AD: Liao Dynasties.

960 - 1279 AD: Song Dynasty. Note: Northern Song Dynasty, 960 - 1127; Southern Song Dynasty, 1127 - 1276.

975 - 1011 AD: The chasuble of Bishop Willigis. Slashed silk, compound twill; with decorative motifs. Byzantine. Cathedral museum, Mainz, Germany.

The chasuble of Bishop Willigis.

980 AD: The earliest surviving example of appliqué‚ is an Egyptian ceremonial funerary canopy of a gazelle hide appliquéd with symbolic Egyptian motifs.

11th Century: A hippocampus and an elephant. Silk serge. Details of a large piece of material decorated with hippocampi (senmurv), elephants and winged horses in contiguous medallions. Spanish. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. See two images below.

11th Century: Two griffons back-to-back. Silk serge an wool. Fragment; from a reliquary. Byzantine. Musee de Valere, Sion, France.

Two griffons back-to-back.

11th Century: Two birds. From a chasuble in Brauweiler. Slashed silk lampas. Byzantine. St. Nicholas, Brauweiler. Monochrome. Each medallion contains two birds, one on each side of a Tree of Life. The chasuble (1.37 meters long) has a gold border.

Two birds.

11th Century: Laid threads, a surface technique in wool on linen.

The Bayeux Tapestry, 11th century.

11th - 12th Century: Franconian/Salian (German) Dynasty.

11th - 12th Century: Almoravides (Berber) Dynasty.

11th - 13th Century: Seljuk (Turkish) Dynasty.

1000 AD: Finely decorated examples of cotton socks made by true knitting using continuous thread appear in Egypt.

ca. 1000 AD: Eagles. Purple silk serge. Fragment. Height 1.6 cm; eagle 75 cm. Byzantine. The sudarium of St. Germain. St. Eusebe, Auxerre, France.


1099 - 1187: Israelites. Crusader Period. Christian conquest of the region; establishment of the Latin language; Kingdom of Jerusalem; rebuilding of the Holy Sepulchre and other churches; building of many castles (Acre, Atlit, Montfort and others).

12th Century: In the 12th century, Hemacandra, an Indian writer, mentions chhimpa, or calico prints, decorated with chhapanti, or a printed lotus design. The earliest fragments to survive (15th century) have been found not in India but at Fusṭāṭ, in the neighbourhood of Cairo. The examples, resist-dyed (in which parts of the fabric to be left undyed are covered with a substance that resists the dye) and block-printed, are of Gujarāti manufacture. In the Mughal period the chief centres of calico printing were in Gujarāt, Rājasthān, and in Burhānpur, in the Khāndesh region of Madhya Pradesh. Ahmādābād, another centre, specialized in cheaper printed cottons.

Indian Calico.

12th Century: Rouffaer reported that the gringsing pattern in Batik was already known by the 12th century in Kediri, East Java. He concluded that such a delicate pattern could only be created by means of the canting (also spelled tjanting or tjunting; pronounced [ˌtʃanˈtiŋ]) tool. This is like a pen that holds a small reservoir of hot wax. He proposed that the canting was invented in Java around that time.

12th Century: The first noted reference to an early patchwork bed cover that occurs in a 12th century French poem Les Lais del Desire Groelent et Melion, which refers to the preparation of a nuptial bed which was covered with a "checkerboard" silk quilt.

12th - 13th Century: Hohenstaufen (German) Dynasty.

12th - 13th Century: Angevin (English) Dynasty.

12th - 13th Century: A directory of over 200 tailors, dyers and fullers, weavers and spinners was published in Florence, Italy. The textile trade was such a growth industry that the profits soon gave rise to the banking industry in Florence.

12th - 13th Century: First mention of appliqué or pieced work on a quilt found in French poem “La Lai del Desire”. The poem mentions a "quilt of two sorts of silk cloth in a checkerboard pattern, well made and rich".

12th - 15th Century: Plantagenet (English) Dynasty.

ca. 1130: Skilled weavers, who came to Palermo, Greece and Turkey produced elaborate fabrics of silk interlaced with gold.

1140 - 1164: Chasuble of purple silk serge. Eagle design (ca. 70 cm high), cut in places. It has been said to have belonged to Bishop Ermanno. Museo Diocesano.

Chasuble of purple silk serge.

ca. 1150: Eleanor of Aquitaine wore scarves in a “gossamer cascade” from the tip of a tall pointed hat, starting a noted fashion trend of the Middle Ages.

1160 - 1173: Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela stated that in Thebes in Peloponnese about 2000 Jews were employed in the manufacture of silk and purple fabrics. Some of the cloth was sent to Byzantium where, according to Benjamin, 2500 Jews worked in Pera.

1188: The first mention of the establishment of Guilds for Dyers in London.

1195: Sultan of Konya begged Alexis III for 40 imperial silk costumes.

1197: The English Parliament issues rules for regulation of wool dyeing to protect the public from poor quality goods after a request from King John (of Magna Carta fame).

13th Century: In Germany, woad was raised commercially. Woad also called "Dyer's Woad" (Resda tinctoria) is a biennial or perennial herb of the mustard family (Brassicaceae),which was formerly grown as a source of the blue dye indigo and now sometimes cultivated for its clusters of small, four-petalled yellow flowers. It is a summer-flowering native of Eurasia, now naturalized in South-Eastern North America. Woad reaches 90 centimeters (3 feet) and produces clusters of dangling, winged, oval, single-seeded fruits. The hairy stem leaves have arrow-shaped bases; the long basal leaves are downy and lance shaped. The ground and dried leaves, when wetted and fermented, produce indigo.

Dyer’s Woad is a winter annual, biennial or short-lived perennial; it is 12 to 48 inches in height.

13th Century: The carving details of Batik clothes wore by Prajnaparamita, the statue of buddhist goddess of transcendental wisdom from East Java was created in ca. 13th century AD. The clothes details showed intricate floral pattern similar to today traditional Javanese batik. This suggested intricate batik fabric pattern applied by canting already existed in 13th century Java or even earlier.

The carving details of clothes worn by Prajnaparamita, 13th century East Java statue. The intricate floral pattern similar to traditional Javanese batik.

13th - 15th Century: Nasrid (Moorish/Granada) Dynasty.

13th - 16th Century: Mameluke/Mamluk (Egyptian) Dynasty.

13th - 20th Century: Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian - Hungarian or Habsburg/Hapsburg Empire.

1200: The ancient art of making purple dye from lichens was re-discovered in Asia Minor. Alizarine (also spelt alizarin) is a red dye that was originally obtained from the root of the common madder plant, Rubia tinctorum. It occurred in combination with the sugars - xylose and glucose. The cultivation of madder and the use of its ground root for dyeing by the complicated Turkey red process was known in ancient India, Persia, and Egypt; the use spread to Asia Minor about the 10th century and was introduced into Europe in the 13th Century.

Madder plant.

1212: The city of Florence had over 200 dyers, fullers and tailors. A directory of weavers and spinners was published as well.

1260 - 1390 (?): Shroud of Turin. Joe Nickell, a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry regularly counters claims from Fanti and other shroud researchers. "As is typical of a religious rather than scientific agenda, their news was shrewdly released just in time for Easter," Nickell said in a blog posting. "That alone casts doubt on the claims, but there is more." Nickell pointed out that Fanti's tests of the Shroud "...involve three different procedures — each with its own problems — which are then averaged together to produce the result." He said that stands in contrast with 1988's mass spectrometry tests, which yielded a date range between 1260 and 1390. Fanti says those earlier tests were not "statistically reliable," but Nickell and most scientists are sticking with the verdict rendered in 1988.

A photo from 2000 shows the Shroud of Turin displayed at Turin's cathedral.

1261: Egyptians adopted a dance style known today as belly dancing. Costumes included a scarf-like belt worn low on the hips.

1266: Following the conquest of Sicily by the French, the weavers fled to Italy; many settled in Lucca, which soon became well-known for silk fabrics with patterns employing imaginative floral forms.

1275: Approximate date of a silk burial cushion knit in two colors found in the tomb of Spanish royalty.

1276 - 1368: Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty.

1290: The only blue dye of the period, Woad, began to be raised extensively in Germany. The dyes in the textile world consist of woad, madder - from the madder plant, and weld (also spelt "wold"); dyer's weed (Resda lutela) yielded a beautiful yellow dye (also known as Anglo-Saxon, geld or gold, our yellow, etc.)

Woad Plant.

1297: A reference in an inventory of a Marseilles ship captain, Guillaume Ferrenc, lists a courtepointe, (quilted bedcover).

14th Century: The earliest surviving bed quilt, from 14th century Sicily, is made from linen with wool batting and quilted with narrative scenes from the legend of Tristan.

14th - 16th Century: Aviz (Portuguese) Dynasty.

14th - 16th Century: Valois (French) Dynasty.

14th - 18th Century: Stewart/Stuart (Scottish) Dynasty.

14th - 20th Century: Wittelbach (German) Dynasty.

14th - 20th Century: Ottoman (Turkish) Dynasty.

1315: Florentine's captured Lucca, taking the Sicilian weavers to Florence, a center for fine woven woolens from about 1,100 AD and it is also believed they were producing velvet at this time.

1321: The East Indies and India export Brazilwood. Later Brazilwood becomes a source of dye for textiles. Brazilwood is a dense, compact dye wood from any of various tropical trees, whose extracts yield bright crimson and deep purple colors. In ancient and medieval times, the brazilwood imported to Europe from the Middle East was Caesalpinia braziliensis and other species of Caesalpinia. Caesalpinia echinata (called pau-brasil in Portuguese) is indigenous to the Brazilian coast and played a role in the naming of that country.


1327 - 1377: The need to improve the wool and textile industry in England, and in order to keep it ahead of other nearby nations, foreigners living in England were offered protection by the "Royal Wool Merchant" King Edward III.

ca. 1360 - 1400: The Tristan Quilt, Sicily, Italy. Linen quilted and padded with wadding. The quilt is 122" by 106" and is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Note: The earliest surviving European bed quilts were made in Sicily in the fifteenth century.

The Tristan Quilt.

1368 - 1644: Ming Dynasty. This dynasty consisted of the following sub dynasties - Hongwu (1368 - 1398); Jianwen (1399 - 1402); Yongle (1403 - 1424); Hongxi (1425); Xuande (1426 - 1435); Zhengtong (1436 - 1449); Jingtai (1450 - 1456); Tianshun (1457 - 1464); Chenghua (1465 - 1487); Hongzhi (1488 - 1505) Zhengde (1506 - 1521); Jianjing (1522 - 1566); Longqing (1567 - 1572); Wanli (1573 - 1619); Taichang (1620); Tianqi (1621 - 1627); Chongzhen (1628 - 1644).

ca. 1395: The first surviving European bed quilts are three trapunto (or stuffed) quilts from a Sicilian atelier/workshop. Two are believed to have been made for the wedding of Pietro di Luigi Guicciardini and Laodamia Acciaiuili, while the third quilt may have been made for the royal house of Anjou. All three illustrate scenes from the Tristan legend. One of the pair remains in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in the United Kingdom, the other at the Bargello in Florence. The third quilt is believed to be owned by a private collector.

ca. 15th Century: A high degree of artistic and technical skill was developed in Florence with over 16,000 workers employed in the silk industry and 30,000 in the wool industry. By the middle of the 16th century a prosperous industry in velvets and brocades was also established in Genoa and Venice.

15th Century: Phulkari from the Punjab region of India. Phulkari embroidery, popular since at least the 15th century, is traditionally done on hand-spun cotton cloth with simple darning stitches using silk floss.

15th Century Embroidered Cloth.

Early 15th Century: Cennino Cennini of Padua, Italy was a late Gothic Florentine painter who perpetuated the traditions of Giotto, which he received from his teacher Agnolo Gaddi. He is best known for writing "Il libro dell'arte" (1437 - The Craftsman's Handbook), the most informative source on the methods, techniques, and attitudes of medieval artists. He also wrote about the printing of cloth using block printing technique - developed in Asia Minor - as well as a treatise entitled: "Method of Painting Cloths by Means of Molds".

Front cover of - Courier Dover Publications, 01/06/1954 - Art - 142 pages.

15th Century: Lancaster (English) Dynasty.

15th Century: York (English) Dynasty.

15th Century: Montezuma conquers the Mayans. It is estimated that 11 Mayan cities paid a yearly tribute of 2,000 decorated cotton blankets and 40 bags of Cochineal dye each. Red dyestuff consisting of the dried, pulverized bodies of certain female scale insects, Dactylopius coccus, of the Coccidae family - the cactus-eating insects native to tropical and subtropical America. Cochineal is used to produce scarlet, crimson, orange, and other tints and to prepare pigments such as lake and carmine. The dye was introduced into Europe from Mexico, where it had been used long before the coming of the Spaniards. The insects were carefully brushed from the cact into bags and were then killed by immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven; much of the variety in the appearance of commercial cochineal is caused by the differing modes of treatment. It takes 70,000 insects to make one pound of cochineal.

Wool dyed with cochineal.

Late 15th - Early 16th Century: English cope, late 15th or early 16th century.

Silk velvet embroidered with silk and gold threads, closely laid and couched. An example of English embroidery in silk and metal threads, Contemporary Art Institute of Chicago textile collection.

15th - 17th Century: Tudor (English) Dynasty.

15th - 20th Century: Hohenzollern (Brandenburg - Prussian) Dynasty.

ca. 1400: A Milanese ivory carving of the Holy Family on the Flight into Egypt depicts Joseph wearing a coat quilted in a diamond pattern. The carving is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, United Kingdom.

1426: The first description of quilting motifs in Provence quilts is found in the estate inventory of countess of Avelin in the Chateau des Baux. It lists bedcovers with motifs illustrating stories of Alexander and Solomon.

1429: The Margiegola "Dell'Arte de Tentori" was published in Italy; this was also the first European book on the subject of dyes.

1445: Silk was being woven in London and Norwich.

1464: "Cardinals Purple" was introduced by Pope Paul II, which was really scarlet from the Kermes insect. This became the first luxury dye of the Middle Ages just as Imperial Purple (Murex) had been for the ancient world. During the Middle Ages the dye became so valuable that landlords use Kermes dye as a unit of exchange. The 'Cardinal Purple' of the cochineal was much closer to what we call purple than the Murex's 'Tyrian' or 'Imperial' variety, and led to our modern interpretation of purple being a mixture of red and blue.

Cardinals Purple.

1472: The Dyers Company of London was chartered by Edward IV. The charter allowed a complete monopoly of the dye industry for many years thereafter.

1480: French manufacture of woven silks began in 1480.

1488: An inventory lists a quilt in the bedchamber of King Rene of Anjou stitched with figures of men and women.

1493: The first available reference to lace is in a will by one of the ruling Milanese Sforza family.

1498: A Belgium painting by Hans Memling titled Shrine of St. Ursula includes an image of a soldier in quilted armor. The painting is in the collection of the Museum of St. John’s Hospice, Bruges, Belgium.

16th Century: Bourbon (Franco-Spanish) Dynasty.

16th Century: The carpet of Mantas, North Western Iran, end of 16th Century, Wool, 783 x 379 cm. Louvre.


16th Century: The English silk industry had its origins in the production of ribbons and half silks woven in London from the 16th century. The enormous growth in the weaving of pure silks came in the second half of the 17th century due to market stability, which resulted because of the end of the Civil Wars and also from demand from the American Colonies for consumers goods. The silk industry moved from City of London to a suburb - Spitalfields.

16th Century: Flemish weavers were brought to France to produce tapestries in workshops set up by Jean Gobelin in the 16th century.

Silk design by Anna Maria Garthwaite (ca. 1730).

16th - 17th Century: Surviving examples of kaftans and various costume pieces from the Ottoman Empire of the 16th and 17th century are quilted in a running stitch on silk broadcloth and brocade. The pieces remain in the collection of the Topkapi Saray Museum in Turkey. Also a quilted linen blanket of this era, made in Germany, is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

16th - 18th Century: Mogul/Moghu/Mughal (Indian) Dynasty.

16th - 19th Century: Savafid (Persian) Dynasty.

1500: A German painting in the Catholic church in Seefeld, West Germany, titled The Seefeld Miracle Panel, by Jorg Kolderer, shows a knight wearing a quilted and pieced tunic of horizontal red, black, and yellow.

1507: In this year, the cultivation of dye plants as an industry began in France and Holland. Germany had been doing so since 1290.

1513: The novel, Marmion by Sir Walter Scott of Edinburgh, Scotland, describes weapons and armor used in Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. “Dress’d in his steel-jack, a swarthy vest, with iron quilted well”.

1516: A 1516 report from a Portuguese traveler in India noted "...beautiful quilts and testors of beds" as well as the quilted articles of dress, thereby highlighting India's long tradition of making bed quilts and other quilted items.

1519: Cotton was discovered in Central and South America by Pizarro and Cortez. The local indigenous population were already using the block printing method to produce brightly colored fabric. Pizarro and Cortez sent back to Spain an unknown quantity of fabric. They also brought Cochineal dye with them. The Cochinel dye was also found previously on the Island of La Orotava in the Canary Islands. To prepare carmine, the powdered insect bodies were boiled in ammonia or sodium carbonate solution, the insoluble matter was removed by filtering, and alum was added to the clear salt solution of carminic acid in order to precipitate the red aluminum salt. Purity of color was ensured by the absence of iron. Stannous chloride, citric acid, borax, or gelatin may be added to regulate the formation of the precipitate. For purple shades, lime was added to the alum.

Top: cochineal bugs.
Bottom: cochineal extract.
Background: cochineal dyed yarns and cloth.

1520: In 1520 Francis I brought Italian and Flemish weavers to Fontainebleau to produce tapestry under the direction of the King's weaver.

ca. 1523 - 1560: A silk cover, lined with a pieced fabric, is found in the estate of Queen Margareta Leijonhufvud of Sweden.

1547: The Inventory of King Henry VIII of England lists "quyltes" and "coverpointes" among the bed linens. The inventory describes the quilts as made of "holland cloth" (linen or cotton), "bockeram" (cotton)," or various types of silk (especially "sarceonett" and "tapheta," and "lynnen.") Some of the quilts were given to lesser members of the court, either as a sign of favor or a gift. Henry’s fifth queen, Catherine Howard, was given two dozen quilts.

1560: Rare Chinese brocade fabrics are found in a patchwork coat made for the Japanese general, Uesugi Kenshin.

1562: Date of first example of use of the purl stitch, from a tomb in Toledo, Spain, which allows knitting of panels of material. Previously material had to be knitted in the round (in a tubular form) and cut it open.

1564: Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to Dutch and Flemish settlers in Norwich for production of damasks and flowered silks.

1580 Onwards: Until 1589, most of the elaborate fabrics in France were of Italian origin, but in that year Henry IV founded the royal carpet and tapestry factory at Savonnières.

1589 William Lee invents stocking frame, the first but hand-operated weft knitting machine.

1591 - 1595: John Smith's Instructions, Observations and Ordres Militaries states that "Archers should weare either ilet holed doublets that will resist the thrust of sword or dagger,covered with some trim and gallant kind of coloured cloth to the liking of the Captain...or else Jackes of maile quilted upon fustian."

1596: Edmund Spenser’s View of the Present State of Ireland describes a number of military garments. For example, “…the quilted leather jacke is English”.

17th Century: Modern Europeans did not discover the Subcontinent dyer’s art until the 17th Century and so for over three thousand years the coloration of European textiles was severely limited (e.g. in the case of woollens they were generally restricted to dun-colors). That is not to say that trade in cloth between the Subcontinent and the Ancient Romans and Greeks and their fellow Mediterraneans did not exist. Rather, the Subcontinent dyeing secrets were not passed on to them when they traded. Moreover, most of the Subcontinent traded textiles were reserved for the elite classes of these Ancient societies, with the poor relegated to cloth with little color.

Rabari shepherd families dressed to go to Krishna’s birthday festival (outside of Anjar, Kutch).

17th Century: Appliquéd designs have been reported from the West African tribes of the Fon of Benin and the Ewe, Fanti and Ashanti of Ghana since the 17th century.

17th - 16th Century: Hyksos (Egyptian) Dynasty.

17th - 20th Century: Hanoverian (Germano -British) Dynasty.

17th - 20th Century: Braganca (Portugese) Dynasty.

17th - 20th Century: Romanov (Russian) Dynasty.

Prior to 1600's: The concept of patchwork, to make efficient or frugal use of valuable woven textiles is known in various parts of the world. Applique is practiced for decorative purposes on clothing and home furnishings. Padded and quilted (stitched) garments are worn for warmth, geometric stitching patterns on linings can be construed as decorative, but most quilted garments were either worn as underwear or were covered with an outer layer of fashionable (and unquilted) silk. The techniques have not yet been combined into what we recognize as a quilt (USA quilts).

ca. 1600: The modern spinning wheel comes together with the addition of the treadle to the flyer wheel.

1600: Croatian mercenaries wore scarves to signify their rank.

1600's: Dye shops were organized in Europe by men who trained male apprentices. In homes women passed home dyeing down through their daughters.

1600's: Home furnishings such as draperies and bed covers, when not made from fancy tapestry or printed panels, are embroidered or have applique designs similar to the embroidery. Trapunto comes into use, both as block work, and as whole-cloth work. Quilted counterpanes are either made in the whole-cloth style from both plain and printed fabrics, or are applique works centered around a large medallion. Colonial American cloth is woven from flax or wool, or combined to make linsey-wolsey. Much fabric is imported from Europe, most quilts are imported commercially due to lack of industry in the colonies (USA quilts).

1600: The East India Company is established by writ of the Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I.

1602: The Dutch East India Company is established when the government of the Netherlands grants the company a monopoly to trade with Asia.

1603: Dutch chemist Drebbel's accidental discovered the method of dyeing a brilliant scarlet on wool by means of cochineal and tin solutions.

1607: Jamestown, Virginia. This colony founded European quilting traditions, which were imported to America by the colonists.

Meet me on the War Path at the Jamestown Exposition, Jamestown, VA.

1609: The wardrobe account of King James I, upon the marriage of his daughter Princess Elizabeth, describes “To John Baker, our upholsterer, for 3 quilts of fustian, lined with taffeta, filled with wool, and sewed with silk…”. A report from Surat, India, states “Quilts made both of white calicoes and all sorts of painted stuffs are to be had in abundance and very reasonable”.

1610: By the time of Louis XIII (1610–43), French patterned fabrics showed a distinctive style based on symmetrical ornamental forms, lacelike in effect, perhaps derived from the highly regarded early Italian laces.

1614: "Logwood" was developed from (species Haematoxylon campechianum), tree of the pea family (Fabaceae), native to Central America and the West Indies. The name is sometimes applied also to Condalia obovata, a tree of the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae) native to South-Western North America. H. campechianum grows 9-15 meters (30-50 feet) tall and has a short, crooked trunk. The leaves are pinnately compound (feather-formed), with rather oval leaflets. The small yellow flowers grow in a cluster from the leaf axil (upper angle between branch and leaf stem). The wood is heavy and extremely hard. A black dye, also called logwood, is obtained from the heartwood. Fustic either of two natural dyes. Old fustic or yellowwood is derived from the heartwood of dyer's mulberry, a large, tropical American tree (Chlorophora tinctoria, or Maclura tinctoria) of the mulberry family, Moraceae. The dye produces yellows on wool mordanted (fixed) with chromium salts. The dye termed young fustic (zante fustic, or Venetian sumac) is derived from the wood of the smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria, or Rhus), a Southern European and Asian shrub of the cashew family,Anacardiaceae. Both old and new fustic have been displaced from commercial importance by synthetic dyes. The process of dyeing fabric using wood is termed "dyeing cloth in the wood".


1614: The inventory of the estate of Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, lists "...a china quilt stiched in chequer work with yealowe silk the ground white…”

1617 - 1681: A nobleman by the name of Wieckmann was collecting textiles of this period, albeit as curios. His collection is now in the Ulm Museum.

1620: Almost 100 years before the Levens Hall quilt, English settlers arrived in America. Although there is no record that they brought quilts with them, most scholars feel sure that quilts would have been brought along on the first ships.

1620: The first document in England in which cotton is mentioned is a petition, now housed in the London and Guildhall library, that states “…people in this Kingdome, but chiefly in the countie of Lancashire, have found out the trade of making of other fustians, made of a kind of Bombast or Downe, being a fruit of the earth growing upon little shrubs or bushes, brought into this Kingdome by the Turkey merchants…”

1630: A Dutch chemist, Drebbel, discovered the use of tin compounds as mordants for cochineal, a scarlet dye. It was used extensively at the Gobelin factory in Paris and the Gobelin family became famous as dyers and fabric manufacturers. The dye was also used extensively at the Bow Dye works in England.

Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel (1572-1633).

1630: Native Americans in Salem MA taught natural dyeing techniques to European settlers.

1631: The Royal Proclamation of Charles I of England permits the importation of chintzes, embroideries and quilts, along with many other items, from the East Indies.

ca. 1631 - 1633: Calico was imported from Calicut, India by the East India Company. Initially they believed that the fabric was linen. Later they learnt that it was cotton.

1633: Estate inventory of Samuel Fuller of Plymouth Colony, New England, lists a “...fflock bed quilt”. Fflock was coarse wool or chopped-up fabric used as wadding in quilts or quilted clothing or stuffing in beds.

Contents of a Typical Plymouth Colony House Based on Probate Inventories.

1638: English settlers established a cloth mill in Massachusetts (USA), freeing the community from dependence on England for fine linen and worsted.

ca. 1640's - 1660's: England established a colony at Mosquito Coast of Honduras (British Honduras) in the Bay of Campeachy. British buccaneers and logwood cutters finally settled on the inhospitable coast in the mid-17th century. The logwood cutters suffered from such ailments as malaria, thyphoid, typhus, etc. as well as danger from Spaniards, hurricanes, swamps etc. However, they were paid handsomely enough that within a few years a logwood cutter could easily make themselves wealthy.

1641: A letter of the East India Company reads, “The quilts of chintz being novelties, produced from £5, 5s to £6 the pair…”

1642 and 1685: The first evidence of quilts in New England is given in household inventories from 1642 and 1685.

1643: A silk dated 1643 is an applique quilt now housed in The Rohss Art and Craft Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden.

1644 - 1911: Qing (Manchu) Dynasty. This dynasty consisted of sub-dynasties namely - Shunzhi (1644 - 1661); Kangxi (1662 - 1722); Yongzheng (1723 - 1735); Qianlong (1736 - 1795); Jiaqing (1796 - 1820); Daoguang (1821 - 1850); Xianfeng (1851 - 1861); Tongzhi (1862 - 1874); Guangxu (1875 - 1908); Xuantong (1909 - 1911).

1654: Fulling mills were operating in Massachusetts by 1654.

Historic Marker for America's First Fulling Mill.

1660: Marseilles, France, organizes a Chamber of Commerce, (the oldest in the world), to help promote textile production. A record of the Chamber of Commerce lists “Three quilted petticoats bought from M. Francois Picquet, at the price of ten pistoles”.

1662: The French government, under Louis XIV, purchased the Gobelin factory in Paris. Rouen also became known for its textiles, with designs influenced by the work of Rouen potters.

Manufacture des Gobelins, Paris.

1662: A newly established Royal Society in London took a useful step in advancing the art of dyeing, and in order to inform and assist practical dyers, published the first original account in the English of the methods employed in dyeing. It was entitled: "An apparatus to the history of the common practices of Dyeing."

1664: Idea that man could make fibers - Robert Hooke.

1672: The French Minister Colbert sought to improve as well as control the operations of dyeing, by publishing a code of instructions for the use of the woollen dyers and manufacturers in France.

1676: In England, William Sherwin took out a patent for a “new and speedy way for producing calico”.

1678: The first cotton print works is founded at Amersfoort, Holland.

1685: William Cole in 1685 described in some detail in a drawing how to use Nucella lapillus to obtain the purple dye. He "...found this species on the shores of the Bristol Channel, which on cracking and picking off the shell, exhibited a white vein lying transversely in a little furrow or cleft next the head of the fish, which must be dug out with the stiff point of a horse hair pencil being made short and tapering; it must be so formed by reason of the viscous clamminess of that white liquor in the vein so that by its stiffness it may drive in the matter into the fine linen or white silk .. if placed in the Sun [it] will change into various colors - see below (i.e. if in the winter about noon); if in the summer an hour or two after sunrise and so much before setting (for in the heat of the day the colors will come on so fast, that the succession of each color will scarce be distinguishable) next to the first light green will appear a deep green; and in a few minutes this will change into a dull sea green; after which, in a few minutes more, it will alter into a watchet blue; from that in a little time more it will be purplish red; after which, lying an hour or two (supposing the Sun still shining) it will be of a very deep purple red; beyond which the Sun can do no more."

The dog whelk, dogwhelk, or Atlantic dogwinkle, scientific name Nucella lapillus, is a species of predatory sea snail, a carnivorous marine gastropod mollusc in the family Muricidae, the rock snails.

1685: The revocation of the Edict of Nantes (Nantes, Edict of) renewing persecution of French Protestants, caused many weavers to move to England, settling in Norwich, Braintree, and London. The most important group of refugees, some 3,500, lived in Spitalfields, a London settlement that became the chief centre for fine silk damasks and brocades. These weavers produced silk fabrics of high quality and were known for their subtle use of fancy weaves and textures. Norwich was also famous for figured shawls of silk or wool.

1685: The household inventory of Captain George Corwin of Salem, Massachusetts lists “A quilt of calico, colored and flowered”.

1686: The French Council of State imposed a decree forbidding the importation and production of white and printed cotton cloth.

1687: The first Swiss cotton print works is established in Geneva, Switzerland.

1688: James II, of England, prohibited exportation of un-dyed cloth from England to help bolster the home industry for English dyers over that of the Scottish dyers.

1689: Calico print works was established commercially in Augsburg, Germany; later it grew into a large industry in Germany.

1689: The expense book of John Hervey, the First Earl of Bristol reads “Paid Mary Bishop for ye use and by order of Mrs. Jane Harrison for an India quilt for a bed, 38 pounds. Inventory of Captain John Kidd, New York, lists “featherbeds, feather pillows, tablecloths, linen sheets, napkins, ten blankets and three “quilts”.

1695: A dated, crewel embroidered quilt is registered in the documentation project of the Quilters’ Guild in Britain.

From 18th Century: Chakkri (Siamese/Thai) Dynasty.

18th Century: Zand (Persian) Dynasty.

18th Century until 1950: English dye-house got a contract to dye the Buckingham Palace Guards coats with cochineal. The process used tin-mordanted wool with cochineal.

Coldstream Guard tunic.

18th - 19th Century: The textile industry, although highly developed as a craft, remained essentially a cottage industry until the 18th century. The advantages of cooperative operations were realized much earlier, and numbers of workers occasionally operated together under one roof, with one such group operating a mill in Zurich in 1568 and another in Derby, England, in 1717. Factory organization became most advanced in the north of England, and the Industrial Revolution, at its height between 1760 and 1815, greatly accelerated the growth of the mill system.

18th - 20th Century: Qajar (Persian) Dynasty.

ca. 1700's: Indigenous plants were used as dye by Navajo weavers due to their depth of rich colors.

Historic chief's-style blanket, ca. 1870-1880.

Early 1700's: Earliest Amish settlements in Pennsylvania. Floral fabrics from France are popular imports for broderie perse. Mosaic style quilts featuring the Tree of Life and Flowers in an Urn are popular (USA quilts).

Contemporary Amish Quilts - Half Log Cabin with Stars in Progress.

1700 - 1825: Dufay, Hellot, Macquer, Berthollet, Roard and Chevreul rendered an excellent service to the art dyeing by: (i) investigating the chemical principles of dyeing; (ii) publishing accounts of the various processes in vogue; (iii) examining the nature and properties of the dyestuffs employed; (iv) explaining the cause of the several phenomena connected with dyeing.

1701: Chintz fabrics from Indian, Persia and China are banned in England because of the economic threat to the wool and silk industries.

1704: The earliest surviving American quilt, the Saltonstall Quilt from Massachusetts, was dated 1704, by the paper filler, which included pieces of the 1701 Harvard College catalog.

1707: The Union of Parliaments opens textile markets to Scots, which in turn leads to western Scotland becoming a major textile exporting area.

1708 - 1716: William III signed a law prohibiting the importation of printed silks. This only made calicos and silks more popular.

ca. 1708: Oldest surviving wholly intact quilt dates to this year, done in a broderie perse mosaic style. The original Levens Hall quilt has been quilted in a red cross-hatched grid, about 1/2" all over (see below).

Levens Hall quilt.

1710: Prussian Blue was developed.

1712: High use taxes are levied on printed fabrics produced in England.

1716: There were now more than 30 laws in England prohibiting the importation of calico and cotton; prints became more popular than ever.

1718: The earliest dated example of British patchwork. A silk patchwork coverlet composed entirely of paper template-pieced fabrics, features the date and initials of the maker near the top center. It is documented as a family heirloom from the Brown family of Aldbourne. It is now in the Collection of the Quilter’s Guild of the British Isles.

1720: The use and wearing of imported Indian chintz is banned in England by an Act of Parliament.

A late 18th century Indian chintz jacket and shawl, paired with a European skirt in glazed printed cotton.

1721: Frederick William I of Germany forbids the wearing, importing or selling of painted or printed calico.

Calico block printing.

1726: The oldest surviving North American-made patchwork quilt dates from this time, housed in Montreal’s McCord Museum (USA quilts).

1727: A method of bleaching linen with kelp (seaweed) was introduced in Scotland.

1733: John Kay invented the flying shuttle. Kay was a weaver of broadloom fabrics, which because of their width required two weavers to sit side-by-side, one throwing the shuttle from the right to the center, the other reaching between the warps and sending it on its way to the left and then returning it to the center. The stopping of the shuttle and the reaching between the warps caused imperfections in the cloth. Kay devised a mechanical attachment controlled by a cord jerked by the weaver that sent the shuttle flying through the shed. Jerking the cord in the opposite direction sent the shuttle on its return trip. Using the flying shuttle, one weaver could weave fabrics of any width more quickly than two could previously. A more important virtue of Kay's invention, however, lay in its adaptability to automatic weaving.

Flying shuttle showing metal capped ends, wheels, and a pirn of weft thread.

1738: The first Spanish calico print works is established by Estaban Canals in Barcelona, Spain.

1738: Lewis Paul patents the draw roller.

1740: Saxony Blue or Indigo Extract was developed.

1745: The commercial growing of indigo started in England. Later the price of the dye fell to where it was cheaper to produce the dye in England than to import it from the East Indies.

1747: An advertisement in The London Tradesman notes that male master quilters and their female helpers made quilted petticoats as well as “quilts for beds”.

1750: First French reference to Marseilles, France, as origin of fine quilting is in Duke of Luynes’s inventory of the queen’s bedroom at Fountainebleau.

ca. 1750's Onwards: Imported Chintz (glazed cotton) gains popularity for quilting. This quality fabric does not shrink like wool and survives laundering better than linen and silk. Quilting is becoming more popular in the colonies, whole-cloth is still the most widely used technique.

Tree of life chintz applique quilt (dated 1800).

1752: Germany allows printing of calicos, but not the import or wearing of foreign printed calico and chintz.

1755: The first Russian calico printing shops were established near St. Petersburg.

1757: Copper plate printing of fabric was invented in England. Later improvements eventually allowed the invention of roller printed textiles.

Chinese design, Copper plate printing on coton, Oberkampf factory in Jouy, 1785.

1758: Jedediah Strutt adds a second set of needles to Lee's stocking frame thus creating the rib frame.

1759: The prohibitions against the sale and production of printed cottons in France lifted.

1760: White linen whole-cloth counterpane (quilt) in Smithsonian collection signed and dated in cross-stitch. Quilting stitches are done as a center medallion, flowers, feathered stems, and baskets, with a background of close parallel lines (USA quilts).

1760: Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf established his cotton print works in Jouy, France.

"L'Offrande à l'Amour" (detail), Copper plate printing on cotton, Oberkampf factory in Jouy, around 1785.

1763: A wedding quilt composed of embroidered silk patches is housed in the collection of the County Museum of Jamtland, Sweden.

1764: James Hargreaves or Thomas Highs invents the spinning jenny (patented 1770).

1764: A pink silk petticoat, quilted with both geometric and floral patterns, was worn by Janet Andrew, when she married John McEwan at Greenock, Strathclyde (UK).

1766: Dr. Cuthbert Gordon patents Cudbear (derived from his mother's name) Cuthbert. It was prepared from a variety of lichens. Only one of two natural dyes ever credited to an individual, the other being quercitron, which was credited to Bancroft.

Cudbear can produce two colors. Pink as above, and red with the addition of acetic acid (vinegar).

1767: John Kay invents the spinning frame.

1768: Josiah Crane invents the hand-operated warp knitting machine.

1769: Samuel Wise solves the mechanization of W. Lee's stocking frame.

1769 - 1779: Mechanical spinners produced in 1769 and 1779 by Sir Richard Arkwright (Arkwright, Sir Richard) and Samuel Crompton (Crompton, Samuel) encouraged development of mechanized processes of carding and combing wool for the spinning machines.

1770: The spinning wheel continued in use into the 19th century. It received an important improvement in the 16th century in the form of the Saxony wheel, which made possible continuous spinning of coarse wool and cotton yarn. With this improvement in speed, three to five spinning wheels could supply one loom with yarn, but Kay's flying shuttle greatly increased the output of the loom and created a demand for spinning machinery. James Hargreaves' spinning jenny (patented in 1770) operated a number of spindles simultaneously, but was suitable only for making yarn used as filling. Sir Richard Arkwright made use of earlier inventions and so produced a better machine capable of making stronger yarn than Hargreaves' jenny.

19th Century Spinning Wheel. Varnished wood - Height: 87 cm.

ca. 1770: A Norwegian quilt owned by the Brekke Park Museum, Fylkemuseet for Telemark, is dated to this period. No earlier example has been found.

1774: French textiles continued to advance in style and technique, and under Louis XVI (1774–93) design was refined, with classical elements intermingled with the earlier floral patterns.

France, Tapis d'époque Louis XVI - ca. 1780.

1774: The discovery by Carl Willhelm Scheele (Swedish chemist) that chlorine destroyed vegetable colors by observing a cork in a bottle of hydrochloric acid, rapidly sped up the bleaching process. Previously the bleaching process consisted of spreading large tracts of land with cotton fabric and allowing the sun to bleach it. Problems with this process was that it took large amounts of land in order to to spread the fabric and so the process sometimes took months if not years to complete.

1774: Prussian Blue dye was developed commercially. Prussian blue was first synthesized ca. 1704 by the reaction of iron(II) salts with potassium ferrocyanide; the initial product, an insoluble white compound called Berlin white, was then oxidized to the blue pigment. Modern commercial methods were similar, but used the cheaper sodium ferrocyanide; the oxidation was carried out with sodium chlorate, sodium chromate, or other reagents.

Prussian Blue hue.

1774: Sulfuric acid was produced.

1774: The Act of 1774 in Britain requires three blue threads be woven into the selvedge of British cotton cloth. John Hewson opened his calico-printing business in Philadelphia (USA).

1774 and 1782: The English Parliament passed laws prohibiting export of materials and machinery for use in printing cotton fabrics.

1775 - 1789: War of Independence severely limits availability of imported fabrics. Quilts with patriotic themes are popular, depicting battles, heroes, and symbols of the revolution. Memorial quilts are made using clothing of the deceased. Applique and broderie perse (a late 18th century term) are being used (USA quilts).

War of Independence Quilt - Stars & Stripes Quilt: Mary Rockhold Teter (Smithsonian Treasury).

1775: Bancroft introduced the use of quercitron bark as a fabric dye. Inner bark of the black oak, Quercus velutina, which contained a coloring matter was used to dye wool bright yellow or orange. At one time this colorant was used with cochineal to produce scarlets of particular brilliance. To obtain the coloring matter, the exterior bark was shaved from the tree (which was native to the middle and southern United States) in order to expose the inner bark, which was then detached, ground and subjected to hot water under pressure. The extract deposited a crude quercetin known commercially as yellow flavine. A second variety, known as red flavine, was deposited when an extract of the bark was digested at the boil with dilute acid. These products were used to dye wool mordanted (fixed) with aluminium or tin compounds to bright shades of yellow and orange.

1776 and 1779: A German quilt, dated with both 1776 and 1779, with scenes of miners, hunter, soldiers, Turks, and other patterns remains in the collection of the City Museum of Bautzen.

1776: Murexide was developed.

1779: Samuel Crompton's "mule" vastly increased productivity, making it possible for a single operator to work more than 1,000 spindles simultaneously. It was capable of spinning fine as well as coarse yarn. Several further modifications were introduced in Britain and the United States, but the Crompton mule effectively put yarn spinning on a mass production basis.

Spinning Mule.

1782: The eagle is adopted as a national symbol and becomes incorporated in many quilts (USA quilts).

The bald eagle.

1783: The Third Duke of Krakow is said to have invented the knitted scarf in this year.

1783: Roller printing is first used to make patterned fabric in England. Can produce in 4 minutes the same amount of fabric it would take 6 hours to do by hand.

1784: Edmund Cartwright invents the power loom.

ca. 1785: Patriotic prints made for the American market are introduced (USA quilts).

1785: Bell, England, who had invented printing from plates, developed roller printing. The commercial process of roller printing sped the printing process from hand printing to industrialization.

1785: The earliest surviving example of medallion style patchwork quilt known to have been made in America, constructed of wool fabrics and made in Maine, is inscribed: “ANNA TUELS HER BEDqUILT GIVEN TO HER BY HER MOTHER IN THE YEAR AU 23.1785”.

Anna Tuels' Quilt. Collection: Wadsworth Atheneum.

1786: Napoleon Bonaparte sent his first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais cashmere scarves obtain in India during his travels.

1786: Bertholet, France, recommended chlorine water for commercial bleaching. Bleaching - a process of whitening fabric by removal of natural color such as the tan of linen - was usually carried out by means of chemicals selected according to the chemical composition of the fiber. Chemical bleaching was usually accomplished by oxidation - destroying color by the application of oxygen or by reduction - removing color by hydrogenation. Cotton and other cellulose fibers were usually treated with heated alkaline hydrogen peroxide; wool and other animal fibbers were subjected to such acidic reducing agents as gaseous sulfur dioxide or to such mildly alkaline oxidizing agents as hydrogen peroxide. Other oxidizing agents used were hydrogen peroxide, sodium peroxide, sodium perobate.

1787 - 1834: Glasgow, Scotland, became the center of a cotton spinning region; the number of cotton-mills within a radius of twenty-five miles of Glasgow rose from nineteen in 1787 to a hundred and thirty-four in 1834.

1787: Production of printed cottons begins in Genoa, Italy, when Michele Speich, of Switzerland establishes a company.

1788: Picric acid which came available (yellow dye and disinfectant) could be dyed from acid dyebath on wool.

ca. 1790: Floral wreath and basket applique becomes popular as a quilt design. Quilts are sometimes bound with woven cotton or linen tape, or narrow strips of straight-cut fabric. Intricate feathered hearts, flowers, vines and other motifs quilted during this period indicate highly accomplished stitchery and already-developed patterns for quilting (USA quilts).

Quilt Center John Hewson (1744–1821) Date: ca. 1790.

1790: Samuel Slater builds the first water-powered cotton mill in the US at Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

1790: Acid discharge in mordant printing (also called "Extract Printing") was a method of applying a design to dyed fabric by printing a color-destroying agent, such as chlorine or hydrosulfite in order to bleach out a white or light patterns on darker colored grounds. In color-discharge printing, a dye impervious to the bleaching agent was combined with it, producing a colored design instead of white on the dyed ground.

1791: The Englishman Dawson solves the mechanisation of the warp knitting machine.

1793: – Samuel Slater of Belper establishes the first successful cotton spinning mill in the United States, at Pawtucket; beginnings of the "Rhode Island System".

1793: The cloth industry in the USA developed steadily, and received a major impetus from Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793.

Interior of a Cotton Gin. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

1793: Carbonate of soda was produced.

1794: Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin.

1794: Three Frenchmen set up first calico printing process.

ca. 1795: Pieced Pinwheel block pattern developed. Patchwork blocks and pieced borders begin to be incorporated in quilts , but the overall design still consists of a center medallion with one or more borders. Pieced blocks are used in strips as border treatments, or as corner blocks for other borders. Reverse applique is being used in medallion centers (USA quilts).

Pinwheel Pattern.

1796: Bleaching powder, a solid combination of chlorine and slaked lime, was introduced in 1799 by the Scottish chemist Charles Tennant. It was thereafter produced in large quantities to bleach cloth and paper. It had the same effect as chlorine but could be more easily handled and shipped. It was unstable and contained a large proportion of inert material. It remained the standard bleaching agent until the 1920s, when it was gradually replaced by liquefied chlorine and solutions of sodium hypochlorite.

1797: Bancroft develops a process for steam fixation of prints.

1797: Silk patches, sewn together to form a cross pattern, remain in the collection of the Nordiska Museet in Sweden.

1798: Oberkampf (in Jouy, France) pleased Napoleon by showing him a roller printer made from a cannon Napoleon had seized from the Pope. This began the famous Toiles de Jouy production. Toiles de Jouy (French: "Fabric of Jouy") - also called JOUY PRINT - was cotton or linen printed with designs of landscapes and figures for which the 18th-century factory of Jouy-en-Josas (near Versailles,France) was famous. The Jouy factory was started in 1760 by a Franco-German, Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf. His designs were printed originally from woodblocks alone, but from 1770 using copperplates as well. This innovation was anticipated in England in 1757.

1798: Asa Ellis published - "The Country Dyers Assistant". The publication shared recipes for Colonial women in order to dye their own fabric at home.

Book cover.

1798: Charles Tennant discovers and patents bleaching powder.

1798: The Frenchman Decroix (or Decries) patents the circular bearded needle knitting machine.

1798 - 1801: Napoleon's archaeologists also became interested in collecting textiles of Egypt during the period of French occupation. They bequeathed their finds to the Turin Museum.

Tiraz Tapestry Fragment, Nubia, Fatimid Egypt, 11-12 AD.
Note: Originally, tiraz means an inscribed silk (or a mixture with other type of fiber) arm band on which embroideries are placed as a badge of honor, favor and distinction. It often contains a single-line Arabic inscription in foliated kufic script extending blessings to the Prophet and the Fatimid Imam-Caliph al-Muizz li-Din Allah.

1798: Hedda Klinckowstrom of Sweden wrote in her diary “…the wedding quilt was put up last Monday and there are fittings and deliberations all day long…It is warm and insufferable up in the large weaving room where the quilting frame has been set up”.

19th Century: In sub Sahara Africa, Javanese batik was introduced in the 19th century by Dutch and English traders. The local people there adapted the Javanese batik, making larger motifs, thicker lines and using more colors.

(From) 19th Century: Orange (Netherlands) Dynasty.

19th - 20th Century: Savoy (Italian) Dynasty.

1800 - 1830: Increase in use of block patterns rather than whole-cloth quilts, although whole-cloth is still more fashionable. Sashing comes into use to frame individual blocks. Patchwork blocks are both portable and frugal uses for scraps, and may have become popular among pioneer women as a result (USA quilts).

ca. 1800: Beginning of the Pioneer Era. Nine-patch and Grandmother's Basket (basket with no handle) appear as block patterns. Cloth panels specifically for making into quilt tops begin to be imported. Floral motifs are cut out and appliqued in swags, wreaths, and bouquets to frame a pre-printed center medallion panel. Marseilles Work, a type of loomed in imitation of whitework quilting is a popular import (USA Quilts).

Nine patch.

1801: Joseph Marie Jacquard invents the Jacquard punched card loom.

1802: Sir Robert Peel brought out a resist method, he had purchased the idea for from a commercial traveller for equivalent of $25. It consisted of a wax or other resist on the background, actually a batik technique done on large scale.

1806: Irish Chain known, maybe the first use of a block pattern as the overall quilt design (USA Quilts).

The quilt was made about 1805 and was stitched with linen thread typical of thread used in Ireland. The quilting was done in a popular quilting design used in Ireland at the time.

1806: Pierre Jeandeau patents the first latch needle (for using on knitting machine).

1808: John Heathcoat patented the bobbin net machine.

1809: A successful single green dye is introduced, making the color easier and cheaper to produce. Prior to this green is made by printing blue and yellow in the same space.

1810: Renowned composer Beethoven fell in love with Therese Malfatti and tried to win her heart, by adopting a new look including fashionable suits, shirts and silk neck scarves.

1810 - 1830: County Fairs begin to appear, offering prizes for needlework. Log Cabin patterns developed, first Barn Raising and then Courthouse Steps variations. The zig-zag Streak of Lightning pattern appears. Quilting is done in flower, heart, and quatrefoil designs. Log Cabin pattern developed (USA quilts).

Log Cabin.

1812: Samuel Clark and James Mart constructed the pusher machine.

1812: Second war on independence. Increase of patriotic-themed quilts (USA quilts).

1813: William Horrocks improves the power loom.

1814: The power loom is installed in Waltham, MA. First American factory production of cloth and thread begins.

1814: Paul Moody of the Boston Manufacturing Company builds the first power loom in the United States; beginnings of the "Waltham System".

1815: Eight-pointed Star, Ohio Star, and Hourglass patterns are in use (USA quilts).

Eight Pointed Star.

1817: In Europe, the Batik technique was described for the first time in the History of Java, published in London in 1817 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who had been a British governor of Singapore.

ca. 1820: The quilting bee is "an established tradition". Quilting is introduced to Hawaii by missionaries. The pieced patterns Irish Chain, Double Irish Chain, Clamshell, and Thousand Pyramids are known (USA quilts). The brig Thaddeus brought the first American missionaries to Hawaii. Legend has it that within hours of debarkation the missionary ladies had organized a quilting lesson.

Artists Unknown: Lei O Ka’ahumanuQuilt (1874)
Background: Quilt was made to celebrate the sixth birthday of Clive Davis, a prominent English businessman in the islands.
Technique: Cottons, hand appliqued and quilted.
Size: 93.5 x 66 inches.

1823: A mercer developed chromate discharge of indigo.

1823: – Associates of the late Francis Cabot Lowell of the Boston Manufacturing Company begin operations at the Merrimack Manufacturing Company at East Chelmsford, Massachusetts. In 1826, East Chelmsford becomes incorporated as the town of Lowell, Massachusetts, the first factory city in the United States.

1825: Mathias Baldwin (later of locomotive fame) began the first American production of engraved metal rollers for calico printing which were used in the Philadelphia area and could produce 300 yards of fabric per day.

1828: Paul Moody develops the leather belt and pulley power transmission system, which would become the standard for U.S. mills.

ca. 1830: Permanent ink makes signature quilts more popular. Appearance of Feathered Star, and Nine-Patch-Wild-Goose variation. Lone Star (Star of Bethlehem, Rising Sun) patterns known. American mills are producing cotton calicoes (USA quilts).

Wild Goose Chase.

1830: Barthélemy Thimonnier develops the first functional sewing machine.

1833: Godey's Lady's Book publishes first named quilt pattern in the USA - Honeycomb.

1833: Chips & Whetstones (aka Mariner's Compass) appears. Colorful, bright and flamboyant chintz is popular (USA quilts).

1833: Walter Hunt invents the lockstitch sewing machine but, dissatisfied with its function, does not patent it.

1834: Runge, a German chemist, noticed that upon distilling coal tar, aniline would give a bright blue color if treated with bleaching powder. This helped to pave the way to the development of aniline (basic) dyes 22 years later.

Dress dyed with aniline dye from 1860. Image courtesy of the Museum at FIT.

1834 - 1859: Applique album samplers popular, using applique in borders and consisting of individual blocks made in patterns of flowers and leaves. Often referred to as the "Baltimore Album" style, these quilts are found from New York to Virginia. Patterns are created from folded paper. Dresden Plate pattern known. Development of Lemoyne Star, Texas Star and Blazing Star variations. Manufactured blankets and bed coverings are competing with home-made quilts (USA quilts).

Dresden Plate.

1835: New quilt styles developed in USA: block quilts; Star of Bethlehem; album pieced and applique. Quilts made in blue and white become common. Bay Leaf, Magnolia, and applique patterns known. Appearance of hexagon Honeycomb patchwork (aka Grandmother's Flower Garden) (USA quilts).

Grandmother's Flower Garden.

1837: Hermès, French ready-to-wear retailer famous for its graphic silk scarves, was born in this year.

1837: Queen Victoria came to throne and popularised fanciful accessories such as scarves. In the Victorian era in particular, these accessories aided to differentiate between the upper, middle and lower classes.

1837: Carolina Lily pattern known. Stenciled names, dates, flowers, birds, and other motifs appear on quilts, mirroring the practice of interior decorating (USA quilts).

ca. 1840: Fox & Geese, Garden Maze, and Orange Peel patterns known. Red, green, and white become a popular combination of colors for quilting, red and green are more available in solids. Fringe is used on bindings. Inscriptions are quilted, appliqued and worked in trapunto.

Mattie, Carson - Peter to Pay Paul/Orange Peel (1876-1900). Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.

1842: Lancashire Loom developed by Bullough and Kneworthy, a semi-automatic power loom.

1842: John Greenough patents the first sewing machine in the United States.

1842 - 1843: Oak Leaf and Reel, Wild Goose Chase/Goose in the Pond, Crosses and Losses/Fox and Geese, Feathered Star, Ocean Waves and several variations of Chips and Whetstones appear in a sampler quilt with pinwheels, album patches, and 8-pointed stars. Piecework starts to become unfashionable (USA quilts).

1843 - 1846: Elais Howe patents sewing machine in the USA.

Elias Howe Sewing Machine September 10, 1846.

1844: Mercerization in textiles is a chemical treatment applied to cotton fibers or fabrics in order to permanently impart a greater affinity for dyes and various chemical finishes. Mercerizing also gives cotton cloth increased tensile strength, greater absorptive properties and usually, a high degree of luster, depending on the method used. The treatment consists of immersing the yarn or fiber in a solution of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) for short periods of time (e.g. usually less than four minutes). The material is then treated with water or acid in order to neutralize the sodium hydroxide. If the material is held under tension during this stage, it is kept from shrinking appreciably; if no tension is applied, the material may shrink by as much as one-fourth. Higher-quality cotton goods are usually mercerized; cloths so treated take brighter, longer-lasting colors from less dye. The effect of caustic soda on cotton was discovered in 1844 by John Mercer, an English calico printer, who received a patent for it in 1850.

1845: Roller printing technology used in America. Introduction of permanent inks makes signature friendship quilts popular in following years (USA quilts).

Friendship Quilt.

1846: Baltimore album quilt style flourishes in the USA until the mid-1850s. First commercial quilt batting is produced. Princess Feather applique pattern known (USA quilts).

1846: John Livesey adapts John Heathcoat's bobbinet machine into the curtain machine.

1847: William Mason Patents his "Mason self-acting" Mule.

1849: Matthew Townsend patents the variant of latch needle which has been the most widely used needle in weft knitting machines.

1849: Picric acid was first obtained in 1771 by Peter Woulfe, a British chemist, by treating indigo with nitric acid. It was used as a yellow dye, initially for silk beginning in 1849.

Picric acid dyeing yields the darkest olive to the brightest, yellowish lime.

ca. 1850: In the early synthetic dye plants, the equipment was primitive, consisting of simple iron vessels and wooden vats. In the latter half of the 19th century new processes arising from the discovery of an increasing number of new dyes led to improvements in the design of reaction vessels, autoclaves, pumps for the transfer of liquids, compressors, and vacuum pumps. The development of vitreous coating techniques, the use of lead and copper, and improvements in the centrifuge, drying stove, grinding, and mixing equipment also proceeded at that time. The advent of stainless steel and the introduction of plastic and polymer materials and of the newer techniques, especially the rubber coating of mild steel, have resulted in the gradual disappearance of the wooden vat and have reduced the use of lead and copper as constructional materials.

1850: First "cheater cloth" available on the American market. Whig Rose applique pattern is known. Pineburr and Pickle Dish pieced patterns known (USA quilts).

1853: William Henry Perkin entered (while searching for a cure of malaria) the Royal College of Chemistry, London, where he studied under August Wilhelm von Hofmann. While Perkin was working as Hofmann's laboratory assistant, he undertook the synthesis of quinine. He obtained instead a bluish substance with excellent dyeing properties that later became known as aniline purple, Tyrian purple or mauve. In 1856 he obtained a patent for manufacturing the dye, and the next year, with the aid of his father and his brother Thomas, he set up an aniline manufacturing plant near Harrow. After Graebe and Liebermann announced their synthesis of the red dye alizarin, Perkin developed a cheaper procedure, obtained a patent for his process and held a monopoly on its manufacture for several years.

1854: "Stitching machines" offered for home use.

1855: Reigate combines a circular loom with a warp knitting machine.

1855: Sunburst and Peony patterns known (USA quilts).

1856: Burberry, maker of iconic plaid scarves, was founded in this year.

1856: Thomas Jeacock of Leicester patented the tubular pipe compound needle.

1856: William Henry Perkin discovered the first synthetic dye stuff "Mauve" (aniline, a basic dye) while searching for a cure for malaria and a new industry was begun. It was a brilliant fuchsia type color, but faded easily so the idea of the color mauve was not its actual appearance.

1856 Onwards: Since 1856, an ever-increasing number of chemists were engaged in pursuing scientific investigations with the view of preparing new colorants from coal-tar products, and of these a few typical colours with the dates of their discovery are as follows: Cachou de Laval (1873); Eosin (1874); Alizarin Blue (1877); Xylidine Scarlet (1878); Biebrich Scarlet (1879); Congo Red (1884); Primuline Red (1887); Rhodamine (1887); Paranitraniline Red (1889); Alizarin Bordeaux (1890); Alizarin Green (1895).

Alizarin Blue (1877).

1857: Luke Barton introduces a self-acting narrowing mechanism on S. Wise's knitting machine.

1857: Arthur Paget patents a multi-head knitting machine called "Paget-machine".

1857: Rayon - Cuprammonium process, Germany.

1858: Nitrous acid (HONO) was one of the reagents tried in the early experiments with aniline, and in 1858 the German chemist Johann Peter Griess obtained a yellow compound with dye properties. Although used only briefly commercially, this dye sparked interest in the reaction that became the most important process in the synthetic dye industry. The reaction between nitrous acid and an aryl amine yielded a highly reactive intermediate; the reaction of this intermediate with phenols and aryl amines was the key step in the synthesis of more than 50% of the commercial dyes produced today.

1858: Rocky Mountain or New York Beauty pattern known. Patchwork viewed as a lower class activity, for keeping children busy and for covering servant's beds (USA quilts).

1858 - 1859: Verguin discovers magenta (fuchsin). The 2nd basic dye and more widely used than Mauve Magenta.


1858: Griess discovered diazotisation and coupling on/in the fiber.

1859: Wilhelm Barfuss improves on Redgates machine, called Rachel machines (named after the French actress Elisabeth Felice Rachel).

1860: (i) Sewing machine with modern lockstitch developed. Immediately in use for everything from piecework to trapunto to quilting; (ii) Tan is popular as a color choice until about 1880. Basket patterns now made with handles. Double Hearts pattern known (USA quilts).

Original Remington Arms lock-stitch sewing machine head: the 'Empire' model of 1870. The Empire Sewing Machine Company made this model from about 1860.

1861: Lauth discovered methyl violet, a basic dye.

1861 - 1865: American Civil War. Traditional German motifs, similar to the album style, become more widespread with immigrational influences. The bouquet and urn design on white is popular (USA quilts).

1862: Hoffmann, one of the great dye chemists of his time developed "Hoffmann's Violet". Hoffmann also proved that inadvertent addition of excess aniline in a magenta preparation resulted in the discovery of aniline blue. From the molecular formulae of these dyes, Hofmann showed that aniline blue was magenta with three more phenyl groups (-C6H5-), but the chemical structures were still unknown.

1862: Bismarck Brown, developed by Martius and Lightfoot, was the first soluble azo dye.

Bismark Brown.

1862: (i) Women in Mobile Alabama (USA) auction quilt to raise fund in order to purchase a gun boat - one of the first fundraising events involving quilts; (ii) Union Sanitary Commission issues more than 250,000 quilts to Union soldiers.

1863: Laboratory methods of preparing alizarin from anthraquinone were discovered in 1868, and upon commercial introduction of the synthetic dye in 1871, the natural product disappeared from the market for textile dyes, although natural rose madder was still occasionally used, as a lake, for artists' colors. The application of alizarin to cotton, wool, or silk required prior impregnation of the fiber with a metal oxide or mordant. The shade produced depended on the metal present: aluminium yielded a red; iron - a violet; and chromium - a brownish red.

1863: Aniline Black, developed by Lightfoot, was a black produced by oxidation of aniline on the cotton fiber.

Fabric dyes with aniline black.

1863: Commercially packaged dyes marketed for home use.

1864: William Cotton patents the straight bar knitting machine named after him ("Cotton machine").

1865: The American Isaac Wixom Lamb patents the flat knitting machine using latch needles.

1865: Clay invents the double-headed latch needle which has enabled to create purl stitch knitting.

1866: The American Mac Nary patents the circular knitting machine (with vertical needles) for fabrication of socks and stockings with heel and toe pouches.

1866: Methyl Violet - a basic dye - was developed.

1868: Carl Graebe and German organic chemist who assisted by Carl Liebermann, synthesized the orange-red dye alizarin, which quickly supplanted the natural dye madder in the textile industry.

1869: The German chemists Graebe and Liebermann succeeded in preparing Alizarin, the colouring matter of the madder-root, from the coal-tar product anthracene, a discovery which is of the greatest historical interest, since it is the first instance of the artificial production of a vegetable dyestuff.

1869: Triacetate - Germany.

1870: Popularity of the Crazy Quilt begins. Embellished lap quilts and throws are common for the next 30 years, as are quilts made in pink and brown combinations.(USA quilts).

Crazy Quilt.

1872: Lauth and Baubigny develop methyl green, which is still in use today.

Methyl Green dye.

1873: The first sulfur dye was produced which generated a brown coloration was achieved by Groissant and Bretonnaire in France.

1873: The Dutch merchant Van Rijckevorsel gave the Batik pieces he collected during a trip to Indonesia to the ethnographic museum in Rotterdam. Today Tropenmuseum houses the biggest collection of Indonesian batik in the Netherlands.

1873: William Morris revives chintz and block printing techniques (USA quilts).

1875: Ocean waves pattern is known (USA quilts).

1875 to 1876: Otto Witt proposed that dyes consisted of conjugated systems, called chromophores, and salt-forming groups or auxochromes that were polar substituents, which modified or rather intensified the dye colors. These ideas remain valid, although they have been broadened by better recognition of the role of specific structural features. Witt suggested the term chromogen for specific chromophore-auxochrome combinations. He also claimed that auxochromes impart dyeing properties to these compounds, but it later became clear that color and dyeing properties were not directly related.

1875 to 1876: Caro and Witt prepared Chrysoidine, the first important member of azo class of dyes.

1876: Centennial Album quilts are popular. Plaid cotton flannel is popular for quilt backings until the 1920s (USA quilts).

1876: Japanese exhibition at the Women's International Pavilion inspires USA quilters.

1876: Malachite Green was used as a direct dye for silk, wool, jute, and leather and to dye cotton. It has been mordanted with tannin. Prepared from benzaldehyde and dimethylaniline, the dye occured as lustrous green crystals soluble in water and in alcohol.

1876: Methylene Blue] is a dye that is mainly used on bast (soft vegetable fibbers such as jute, flax, and hemp) and to a lesser extent on paper, leather, and mordanted cotton. It dyes silk and wool but has very poor light fastness on these fibers.

1877: Malachite Green, was a basic dye developed by Dobner and Fisher.

1878: Biebrich Scarlet invented, a very pure red acid dye, rivalling cochineal in brightness.

1878: Adolf von Baeyer synthesized indigo (1880) and formulated its structure (1883). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1905.

1878: Henry Griswold adds a second set of needles (horizontal needles) to the circular knitting machine enabling knitting of rib fabrics as cuff for socks.

ca. 1880: Use of wool and silk increasing in quilts. Remains until about 1925. The Suffrage movement adopts the blue and white Drunkard's Path pattern, initiates the raffle quilt as a fund-raiser (USA quilts).

Drunkard's Path.

1880: Thomas and Holliday, England, synthesized the first azo dye formed on the fabric by coupling. Vacanceine red formed by treating fabric with napthol and then dipping in a diazolized amine, a very fast category of dyes.

1881: Pierre Durand invents the tubular pipe compound needle.

1884: Congo Red was developed by Bottiger It was the first of the direct cotton dyes. It belonged to a group of azo dyes derived from benzidine. Congo red was formerly used to dye cotton but has been superseded by dyes more resistant to light and to washing.

1884: After Maspero had discovered the burial grounds near Akhmim, that European museums began to build up collections of these fabrics systematically.

1884: Rayon - nitrocellulose process (Chardonnet in France).

1884: The development of the power loom in 1884 brought significant improvements and variations to cotton fabrics.

ca. 1885: Rusty browns gain popularity as colors for quilting (USA quilts).

1885: Carl Duisberg developed benzopurpurine - an early direct dye. It is bright and highly substantive.

1885: The oldest methods for applying azo dyes to cotton involved successive treatments with solutions of two chemical components that reacted to form the dye within the fiber or on its surface. Dyes applied in this way are called developed dyes; para red and primuline red are members of this group that were introduced in the 1880s. The dye was brought out by von Gallois and Ullrich (B napthol and nitraniline).

1885 - 1889: Chardonnet, France, made the first successful rayon and showed it at the Paris Exposition of 1889.

1887: The first azo mordant dye, Alizarin Yellow GG, was developed.

1887: Rhodamine B - a brilliant red violet dye basic dye - became available.

1889: (i) Ladies Art Company publishes one of the first pattern mail-order catalogs; (ii) Singer Company introduces the first electric sewing machine.

1889: Northrop Loom: Draper Corporation, First automatic bobbin changing weaving loom placed in production. Over 700,000 would be sold worldwide.

1890s: Development of the Barmen machine.

ca. 1890: Feed sacks were introduced with printed fabrics. Technology enabled fabric to be printed black with white patterns. Introduction of Double Wedding Ring pattern. Bear's Paw and Schoolhouse blocks known (USA quilts).

Double Wedding Ring.

1890: The first direct black dye was developed and named Direct Black BH.

1890: Double Wedding Ring introduced (USA quilts).

1891: The first green azo dye was developed and named Diamine Green.

1891: Sky Blue FF was developed. It was a direct dye and a very important blue for decades. It has good light fastness.

1891:: Chardonnet built his first commercial plant at Besancon for manufacturing rayon, by the Chardonnet process.

1892: Rayon - viscose process (Cross and Bevan in England).

1893: Glass - first fabric displayed at Columbia Exhibition, Chicago.

1893: Vidal Black was the second sulfur dye that was developed.

1893: The Women's Exhibition at the Columbian Exposition World's Fair in Chicago features more than 100 quilts.

1894: Azlon (Italy).

1895: Viscose method of manufacturing of rayon was invented by Bevan and Cross. This was now the most common process for making of rayon.

1897: Synthetic Indigo was created by German scientists. It produced vivid and varied shades of blue. This finding secured the German domination of the dye industry within this era.

1898: A black dye, Direct Black E, was developed, which was of major importance.

1898: Azo dyes were derived from coal tar in the USA by John and George Prochazka.

20th Century: Windsor/Mounbatten (English) Dynasty.

20th Century: Cross-stitch counted-thread embroidery. Tea-cloth, Hungary, mid-20th century.


20th Century: Pahlavi (Iranian) Dynasty.

ca. 1900: Double Wedding Ring gaining in popularity. Penny Quilts, made with small circles of wool appliqued in patterns, and Puff Quilts made from small stuffed patches are increasing in popularity as alternate formes of quilting. The use of "cheater's cloth" continues, and better milling practices make cotton batting without seed particles (USA quilts).

1900: Isadora Duncan, considered by many to be the mother of modern dance, popularised long flowing scarves. Ironically, Duncan died as the result of a freak accident during which her long scarf was caught in the wheel of an automobile.

1900: The invention of new dyes eventually spread to the home dye market. Women no longer have to prepare their own dyes. They can merely buy the dye in their local mercantile and general stores and so they are frees from the need to spend countless hours trying to achieve that "right color" for a piece of fabric.

1900: Heinrich Stoll creates the flat bed purl knitting machine.

1900: When Mozaffer ed Din became Shah of Persia one of his first edicts was to prohibit the use of analine dyes for rugs. All analine dyes were seized and publicly burned. Penalties included jail and fines equal to double the value of the merchandize.

1900: Exposed to the Exposition Universelle in Paris, the Indonesian batik impressed the public and the artisans alike. It brought the technique to prominence in Europe.

1901: Rene Bohn patented his invention of Indanthrene Blue RS, the first anthraquinone vat dye, a category of dyes with extremely good fastness to light and washing.

Indanthrene Blue.

1901: Bohn - a French dye chemist - developed Flanthrene a yellow dye. It was the second vat dye that was developed.

1902: Hyrdosulfites and sulfoxylate formaldehyde were developed by Descamps, Thesmar, Frossard and Baumann.

1903: Diacetate process.

1905: Friedlander developed thio-indigo red. This was the first indigoid dye.

Thio-indigo red.

1908: Cassella developed hydron blue, which became a rival to indigo.

1909 - 1929: The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Directed by Sergei Diaghilev, it is regarded as the greatest ballet company of the 20th century. Their designers, such as Leon Baskt, produced great costume/wearable art.

From Left To Right: Costume for 'Shah Shahriar' (1910-1930s) and costume for a dancing girl in 'Odalisque' (1910).
Designer: Leon Bakst.

1910: Spiers invents the circular bed purl knitting machine.

1910: Rayon - filament (American Viscose Corp.) The first man-made fiber. The first commercial production of rayon fiber in the United States was in 1910 by the American Viscose Company. By using two different chemicals and manufacturing techniques, two basic types of rayon were developed. They were viscose rayon and cuprammonium rayon. Today, there are no producers of rayon in the U.S.A.

1911 - 1949: People's Republic of China.

1911: Marie Webster publishes her first quilting pattern and starts a quilt kit company.

Marie Webster, sitting, with fur stole and holding fur muff ca. 1910.

1913: Otto von Falke was successful in classifying the surviving specimens according to date and provence of the fragment of fabrics woven in the Middle Ages, after the reign of Justinian I.

1914: The knitting of scarves became a patriotic wartime duty in the United States.

ca. 1914: Embroidered "red work" with nursery characters, baskets, birds, and flowers is popular for quilt blocks (USA quilts).

The quilt was made in approximately 1910 by 10 year old Helen Wells. Collection of Rachel Greco.

1914: The USA imported 90% of its dye stuffs. During the First World War this disrupted the importation of dyes from Europe. Germany by this date was producing approximately 75% of the worlds dyes.

1915: Neolan dye was the first metallized chrome dye, dyed from strong acid bath.

1915: Mary Webster publishes - Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them.

Front Cover. This book is available for download.

1916: USA dyers slowly go back to their home dyeing techniques as dye stuff from Europe became scarce due to World War I.

1916: Rayon (Industrial Rayon Corp.)

1917 German patents, copyrights and contracts were seized by the Chemical Foundation and were turned over to USA companies. The American synthetic dye industry slowly came into prominence.

1917 - 1918: (i) Women in the USA were encouraged to make quilts in order to save fabric resources during the war; (ii) Modern Priscilla magazine published (USA) - Red Cross Signature Quilts - in order to raise funds for the organization.

Elizabeth Marthaler Stauf made this bedcover at the start of World War I, before the United States entered the conflict in 1918. Like most patriotic quilts, it incorporates the colors of the U.S. flag and the eagle, a well-known symbol of the nation.

1918: Seventy-two new dye factories are built in the USA as a result of the Chemical Foundations turning over the German secrets of dye stuffs.

1919: Acetate. Filament (Lustron Corp.)

1919 - 1935: The Bauhaus' first home was in Weimer, the capital of Thuringia (Germany), where it succeeded the van de Velde’s School of Art and Crafts. Branded as an enemy alien, van de Veld was forced to resign in 1914, but he recommended Walter Gropius as a successor, before leaving Germany. The school closed in 1915 and remained so during the duration of the war. Gropius negotiated with the Grand Duke Of Saxe-Weimer to be appointed the director of the School of Arts and Crafts, which was realized after the first world war.The appointment of Gropius was thought to continue the legacy of van de Veld. However, after uniting the School of Arts and Crafts with the Academy of Fine Arts, the new institution took the name of “Staatliches Bauhaus, Weimer” (State’s Bauhaus, Weimer) and as such he made a radical break with tradition. Years of tension with the host town led to Gropius' decision to close the school on the 26th December 1924 – just five years in its tenure. In 1926 the city of Dessau became its new host city and the Gropius designed Dessau Bauhaus opened its doors as a landmark of modern architecture. As an international Faculty and student body, with radical teaching practices, the Bauhaus continued to be at the vanguard of design, but in doing so, was the target for hostilities. The Nazi’s caused its final closure in 1933.

Student Output: Silk Applique (1920).
Note: Johannes Itten’s teaching of color theory profoundly influenced his students, one of whom translated it into a color exercise.

ca. 1920: Hattersley loom developed by George Hattersley and Sons.

1920: Blocks colored with crayons and heat set are popular (USA quilts).

1920: Mennonite Co-ordinating Council (USA) was formed and became a major distributer of 20th Century relief quilts.

1920s As late as the 1920s Javanese batik makers introduced the use of wax and copper blocks on Malaysia's east coast.

1921: Rayon (Du Pont).

1921: Bader developed soluble vat colors, the Indigosols.

Vat Dyes (Solubilised / Indigosol).

1922: AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) formed the first sub-committee to study color-fastness of printed and dyed cottons, formulated testing procedures and developed standards of fastness.

1924: Baeyer and Sunder developed Indigosol 0. It was the first commercial indigosol dye.

1924: Rayon adopted as a name for cellulose-base fibers.

1924: The first commercial production of acetate fiber in the United States was in 1924 by the Celanese Corporation.

1925: Multi-stranded embroidery thread is introduced. Satin and Sateen begin to be popular, especially as whole-cloth quilts, and remains so through about 1950. Applique outlined with black thread in a buttonhole stitch is also popular (USA quilts).

1925: Acetate (Celanese Corp.)

1926: Rayon - (Delaware Corp., Skenandoa Rayon Corp.), cuprammonium (Beaunit Mills), delustering of bright viscose, high tenacity.

1927: Rayon - crepe yarn technique. Acetate - (Celanese and Lustron merge).

1927 - 1939: Revival of printed quilt patterns in newspapers and company brochures (USA quilts).

1928: DuPont de Nemours began research that will eventually lead them to discover nylon.

1929: Kansas City Star (USA newspaper) published quilt patterns, which became one of the enduring series of newspaper quilt patterns.

1929: Rayon (New Bedford Rayon Co., Celanese Corp., North American Rayon Corp., American Enka Rayon Corp., Fair Haven Mills). Acetate (Tubize Rayon Corp., American Chatillon Corp., Du Pont Co.)

1929 - 1939 (Great Depression): Quilts of this era are characterized by their use of scraps, especially feed, flour, and sugar sack prints, and colors in the pastel range, particularly shades of purple. Applique kits become popular, as do scalloped borders. Sunbonnet Sue is born. Grandmother's Flower Garden becomes a popular use for scraps (USA quilts).

Sunbonnet Sue.

1930: Introduction of Airplane block (USA quilts).

1930: Fur scarves were at the height of fashion in France.

1930: Rayon - resin finishes for crease resistance. Acetate - (Tubize and American Chatillon merge, American Viscose Corp.)

1931: Rayon - staple fiber. Acetate - delustered filament (Tennesse Eastman Co.)

1933: Century of Progress World Fair was held in Chicago (USA). In conjunction with the Fair, Sears Roebuck held - Century of Progress quilt competition.

1934: Rayon - nitrocellulose process discontinued.

1935: Rayon - high tenacity. Acetate - crimped staple.

1936: The first pair of stockings knit with a new synthetic fiber from DuPont called "nylon" for which Carothers received the patent. This is the first pair of stockings that will eventually replace silk stockings for women.

1937: Rayon - tire cord, cuprammonium staple, thick and thin yarns, crimped carpet fiber.

1938: Rayon - Fortisan. Azlon - milk protein (Aralac). Glass - filament (Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp.) Nylon 6,6 - filament was sold for the first time to the public (Du Pont ).

1939: The first commercial production of nylon in the United States was in 1939 by the E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. It is the second most used man-made fiber in this country today, behind polyester.

1939: Vinyon (American Viscose Corp.)

1940: Saran (Dow Chemical Co.)

1941: Rayon - continuous spinning process (Fair Haven Mills).

1946: Acetate (Celanese and Tubize merger). Nylon - tire cord, staple fiber.

1948: Azlon - discontinued (Aralac). Vicara - corn protein (Virginia Carolina Corp.)

1948: Textiles became the second largest industry in the USA. The consumption per capita of fibers was of the order: 27 pounds of cotton, 6.3 pounds rayon, and 4.9 pounds of wool.

1949: Heinrich Mauersberger invents the sewing-knitting technique and his "Malimo" machine.

1949: Rayon - viscose (Beaunit Mills).

1949: People's Republic of China.

1950: Dupont introduced first commercial availability of Orlon (staple and filament) a new acrylic "wool substitute".

1950: Machine made quilts are available in department stores. Polyester fabrics and batting are introduced (USA quilts).

1950: The first commercial production of acrylic fiber in the United States was in 1950 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc.

1951: Geigy developed Irgalan dye. It was the first time neutral pre-metallized dyes were produced, which did not require a lot of acid as Neolans did. Cibalans are of the same type..

1951: DuPont announced that a plant in N.Carolina would begin to manufacture Dacron polyester.

1951: A new acrylic, Acrilan, was introduced by Chemstrand Corp.

1951: Rayon - latent crimp (fiber E), Mohawk buys New Bedford and Delaware companies, Bigelow (Sanford buys Hatford Co.) Acetate - solution due. Nylon - nylon 6,6 (Chemstrand). Modacrylic - Dynel (Carbide and Carbon Co.)

1952: Acrylic - staple (Chemstrand-Acrilan). Acetate - separated from rayon as a fiber group.

1953: A dye that lead to discovery of other fiber reactive dyes was developed. It was named Cibalan Brilliant Yellow 3 GL.

1953: Rayon (Courtaulds Inc. merge with North American Rayon Group), carpet fiber. Nylon - delustered. Polyester - Dacron (Du Pont). The first commercial production of polyester fiber in the United States was in 1953 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. Polyester is the most used man-made fiber in the U.S.A.

1954: Rayon - solution dye. Acetate - crystal acetate, latent crimp. Nylon - nylon 6 (Allied Chemical Corp., Enka Rayon Corp.), textured filament stretch (Taslan).

1954: The first commercial production of triacetate fiber in the United States was in 1954 by the Celanese Corporation. USA triacetate production was discontinued in 1985.

1954: Fiber reactive dye invented.

1954: Celanese Corp announced first commercial production of an American triacetate, Arnel.

1955: Acetate - textured filament yarns. Nylon - carpet fiber. Nytril - Darlan (B.F. Goodrich).

1956: Procion was introduced in England by Imperial Chemical Industries, PLC (ICI). This was a first range of fiber reactive dyes. This major British corporation was founded in 1926 as Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. The company amalgamated four major British chemical companies: Brunner, Mond & Co. Ltd., Nobel Industries Ltd., United Alkali Company Ltd., and British Dyestuffs Corporation Ltd. Between World War I and II, ICI was a major competitor of Germany's IG Farben, the cartel formed in 1925 which was dissolved by the Allies after World War II. By the late 1970s, ICI ranked below all three successors to IG Farben (Hoechst, BASF, and Bayer corporations) in terms of sales but was still the largest chemical concern in the United Kingdom. ICI's headquarters are in London.

Procion MX Fiber Reactive Cold Water Dye.

1956: American Cyanamid introduced a new acrylic, Creslan.

1956: Eastman Kodak introduced Verel, a modified acrylic.

1956: Nylon - solution dye. Acrylic - Acrilan fiberfill. Polyester - Dacron fiberfill. Nytril - name changed to Darvan.

1956: One person out of every 7 who were working in the USA received their income from work performed in textile or apparel industries.

1957: CIBA introduced Cibacrons, a new range of reactive dyes and the first to compete with ICI's Procion series.

Ciba Red S-2G for cellulosic fibers.

1957: Rayon - textured filament. Acetate - fiberfill (Celacloud, Celafil), hollow filament, Y cross section. Nylon - low elongation (type 420 for blends with cotton). Acrylic - filament Orlon discontinued. Modacrylic - Verel (Eastman Kodak Co.)

1958: The textile museum in Tilburg (The Netherlands) was established in 1958. The original premise was a former 19th century complex of the former Mommers & Co woollen fabric factory (that operated as a textile mill). It was listed as a national monument in 1986 and was recently merged with the Tilburg Regional Archives. In 2008 it was renamed as the Audax Textile Museum of Tilburg. Its collection is divided into four sections: textile science, design, industrial culture and arts.

Jamie Hayon – Que Pasa Guey.
The pieces of imitation leather are decorated with white embroidery in a variety of stitches that Hayon had found in an embroidery sample book.
Collection, Audax Textile Museum of Tilburg (The Netherlands).

1958: Rayon - cross-linked (Corval, Topel). Acrylic - Zefran staple (Dow Chemical Corp.) Acrilan carpet fiber. Polyester - Kodel (Tennessee Eastman), Teron (Fiber Industries Inc.), Dacron 65 for blends with wool. Azlon - Vicara discontinued.

1959: Rayon - hollow filament, slubbed filament, flat filament (Strawn). Acetate - textured filament (Celaloft). Nylon - Trilobal (Antron), fluorescent whiteners (Blanc de blanc, Type 91), carpet fiber (textured filament , trilobal, type 501, Cumuloft). Acrylic - Creslan staple (American Cyanamid Corp.), bicomponent filament (Orlon Cantrece), bicomponent staple (Orlon Sayelle). Polyester - Vycron (Beaunit Mills Inc.), Dacron 62 (Trilobal).

1959: The first commercial production of spandex fiber in the United States was in 1959 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. It is an elastomeric man-made fiber (able to stretch at least 100% and snap back like natural rubber). Spandex is used in filament form.

1960: Rayon - Hi-wet-modulus (Zantrel), Fiber 40 (Avril, SM-27-Lirelle), multicellular (Avlin), Hi-strength (Avron). Nylon - Industrial Rayon Plant sold to Hercules Powder Co. for production of olefin. Acrylic - solution dyed (Acrilan). Spandex - Lycra (Du Pont), Vyrene (US Rubber). Nytril - Celanese acquires world rights for its production.

1961: Rayon - solution dye (Avicolor) improved hi-wet-modulus. Nylon - high temperature resistant HT-1, carpet fiber Nylon 6 (Nyloft). Acrylic - textured filament for carpet, non-acid dyeable (Creslan), improved Zefran. Modacrylic - filament (Aeress), textured carpet fiber (Verel, Dynel). Nytril - production discontinued.

1961: The first commercial production of an olefin fiber manufactured in the U.S. was by Hercules Incorporated.

1962: Rayon - Du Pont phases it out of production. Nylon - pill resistant (Enkaloft). Acrylic - Orlon Cantrece discontinued production. Polyester - pill resistant (Dacron Type 64). Spandex - Glospan (Globe Manufacturing Co.), Spandelle (Firestone Tire and Rubber Co.), Stretchever (International Latext). Olefin - Herculon and Prolene (Hercules Power Co.) Glass - very fine filament (Beta Fiberglas), hollow filment (Pittsburg Plate Glass).

1963: Rayon - composite fiber, bacteriostatic staple. Acetate - sunlight resistant dull fiber (SLR Estron), triangular-shaped fiber, random luster. Nylon - bicomponent nylon (Cantrece), Nomex (trade name for HT-1), hollow core, thick and thin undrawn nubs (Speckelon), ultra deep dye (Cumuloft). Acrylic - solution dye (Zefkrome), continuous filament (Glace). Polyester - fluorescence whiteners (Kodel IV, Kodel III). Spandex - Orofil (not a true spandex). Olefin - Vectra, Reevon.

1963: Synthetic threads are available.

1963: Open-end spinning developed in Czechoslovakia.

1964: First permanent press finishes were introduced.

1964: Rayon - modulized (Nupron), medical surgical (Purilon), conjugate filaments, stronger hi-wet-modulus. Acetate - three-dimensional crimp, four-leaf clover cross section. Nylon - multilobal (Enkalene), sewing thread 500oF melting point (Hyen). Acrylic - flame resistant. Spandex - Blue C (Chemstrand Corp.), core spun yarn.

1965: Rayon - acid dyeable (Enkrome). Nylon - multilobular (Enkalure). Acrylic - filament (Creslan 63), high shrinkage (Orlon 38, Acrilan Hi-shrunk). Polyester - slub filament (Dacron 69), high bulk (Dacron 65), high strength (Vycron Xtra Tuf for durable-press), pill resistant (Kodel II), self crimping. Spandex - Numa (American Cyanamid), fluorescence whiteners (Lycra 125). Olefin - Marvess, Polycrest.

1966: The "Freedom quilting Bee" was founded in Alabama (USA) to provide jobs for families who lost their income by exercising their right to vote.

1966: Polyester - high strength low elongation for durable press (Celanese Type 310).

1966: Polyolefin was the world’s first and only Nobel-Prize winning fiber.

1967: Rayon - Celanese phased out rayon and Fortisan, high strength polynosic (Vincel), high resistant (Avceram), flame retardant. Nylon - random denier fluctuation (Variline), cationic dyeable, nylon 6,6 (Phillips), Arlyn (Rohm & Haas). Acrylic - Creslan filament discontinued, basic dyeable (Acrilan 70), pill resistant. Polyester - fiberfill (Fibercoil) Enkron (American Enka Corp.) Avlen (American Viscose Corp.), tire cord - vita cord, Quintess (Phillips), Trevira (Hystron). Olefin - bicomponent. Saran - Rovana discontinued. Spandex - Blue C, Spandelle and Stretchever, all discontinued.

1968: A fancy nylon with silk like qualities named "Qiana" was introduced by DuPont.

1968: Man-made fibers top natural fibers with respect to USA consumption. This was the very first time that this occurred. Five billion pounds (man-made) versus 4.6 billion pounds (natural). Of the man-made fibers the use of polyester was growing the most quickly.

1969: Tiwi textiles are not underpinned with historical traditions related to production, prestige and wealth. In 1969 Tiwi Design was established at Nguiu. Initially it was set up to produce woodblock prints of totemic images (e.g. fish, bird and lizard motifs). Aboriginal artist and the founder of Tiwi Design, Bede Tungutalum, first learned design and printing in school on Bathurst Island. In 1969, after he finished school, he established a screen-printing business called Tiwi Designs with Tiwi artist Giovanni Tipungwuti at Nguiu on Bathurst Island - initially printing works on paper, and then textiles (from 1971). Run by men, between 1979 and 1988 the workshop developed a repertoire of 120 designs, which were inspired by the flora and fauna of the island and the distinctive crosshatched patterning that decorated the Pukamani or mortuary poles. Today, the print workshop takes up about a third of the total workspace making printed textiles, a cornerstone of Tiwi Design.

Yam. Bede Tungatalum. Cotton Drill. Image courtesy of Tiwi Design.

1969: Bonnie Lehman begins publishing - Quilter's Newsletter Magazine - in Colorado (USA).

1970: It was popular to wear scarves as a headband across the forehead or wrapped about the waist and chest as a shirt.

1970: The National Quilting Association formed in Washington D.C. (USA).

1970s: Late in the 70s, CIBA-Geigy introduced Cibacron F series.

1971: Batik was first taught in Ernabella by Leo Brereton in 1971. Leo was a young American, who learnt the technique in Indonesia. He only taught it for a month, since his aboriginal students quickly accelerated to a very sophisticated level, and easily incorporated and adapted the technique into their art practice.

Angkuna Kulyuru, Raiki wara. Batik On Silk (Ernabella).
Size: 112 cm (width) x 296 cm (length).

1971: Witney Museum of Art (New York, USA) exhibited - Abstract Design in American Quilts. For the first time a major exhibition of quilts were presented as objects of art, rather than decorative functional items.

Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition by Jonathan Holstein.

1973: Jenny Kee was born in Sydney in 1947 with an Australian mixed heritage - her mother was of Anglo-Saxon and Italian decent and her father was Chinese.In 1973 Jenny Kee and her husband returned to Australia. Six months later she opened a shop, Flamingo Park, which modelled itself on the vintage and retro fashion experience she had in London. Just before she opened Flamingo Park, Jenny met Linda Jackson - another turning point in her life. Her friendship with Linda bought her back to the roots of her passion, namely wearable art.

Jenny Kee's wearable art.

1975: At a late stage of her career, when she was 67, Margo Lewers returned to fabric as a medium for her abstract ideas. She produced a series of vibrant painted ArtCloth works, based on early geometrical watercolors where she had experimented with overlaying transparent colour in loosely geometric shapes.

Margo Lewers’ ArtCloth wallhangings (exhibition at Macquarie Galleries in 1975).

1976: Group quilts projects flourish as communities create USA Bicentennial quilts. The Bicentennial revives interest in traditonal crafts, folk arts, and history.

1976: An exhibition of French tapestries in the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in December 1973 - January 1974 prompted the Director of the NGV and Lady Delacombe (the wife of the Governor of Victoria) to galvanize resources within the State and elsewhere, to lay the foundation for the creation of the Australian Tapestry Workshop (formerly the Victorian Tapestry Workshop) a project that was finally realized in 1976.

Title: The Reception Hall Tapestry (Detailed View Of One Section Of The Tapestry).
Designer: Arthur Boyd.
Interpretation: Leonie Bessant.
Weavers: Leonie Bessant, Sue Carstairs, Irene Creedon, Robyn Daw, Owen Hammond, Kate Hutchinson, Pam Joyce, Peta Meredith, Robyn Mountcastle, Joy Smith, Jennifer Sharp, Irja West.
Size: 9.18 x 19.90 meters.

1977: First state-wide quilt guild founded in Utah (USA).

1978: On the 23rd August 1978, the Premier of New South Wales - Neville Wran - announced that the re-developed power station site would be the new home for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences whose roots date back to 1882. The Museum was renamed The Powerhouse Museum. The New South Wales government architect, Lionel Glendenning, was charged with designing the redeveloped site.

Australian Tapestry, Woven in France (1960). Powerhouse Museum Collection.
Designer: Jean Lurcat (1992-1965).
Weavers: Suzanne Coubely-Gatien, Aubusson, France.
Materials: Wool and Cotton.
Size: 687.5 (width) x 348 cm (height).

1979: In the newer Procion T series, marketed by ICI in 1979, the reactive dye is bonded through a phosphate ester. Since reactive dyes can contain almost any chromogen, a vast array of colors and dye types are now available. With the introduction of reactive dyes, cotton could finally be dyed in bright shades with monazo dyes for yellows to reds, anthraquinones for blues, and copper phthalocyanines for bright turquoise colors.

1979: (i) First Quilt National held in Ohio (USA); (ii) "Lap Quilting" with Georgie Bonesteel became one of the first televised quilting program (USA).

1980: American Quilt Study Group formed.

1981: (i) First State quilt project founded in Kentucky (USA); (ii) American Quilter's Society formed.
1984: (i) Long-armed quilting machines invented; (ii) Boise Peace Quilt Project presented National Peace Quilts to United States Congress. It challenged all 100 Senators to sleep under it (USA).

1982 - 1997: Gianni Versace was hired by “Complice” to design their leather and suede collections. After a few years he was encouraged to present his first signature collection for women at the Palazzo della Permanente Art Museum of Milan. His first menswear collection followed in September of the same year. He soon joined Jorge Saud (who would later also become a partner with Giorgio Armani), and the first Versace boutique was opened in Milan’s Via della Spiga in 1978. Versace was an instant hit, and so his clothing designs soon appeared in boutiques around the world. He was openly gay.

Evening Tank Dress (Spring-Summer, 1996).
Black synthetic net with black leather appliques and beading.
Courtesy of Gianni Versace Archives.

1987: The Names Project is founded. It is one of the first activists quilting projects.

1989: Caryl Bryer Fallert's quilt - Corona II - became the first machine-quilted quilt to win AQS "Best of the Show" award. Machine quilting becomes accepted at quilt shows nationwide (USA).

1989: The first commercial production of microfiber in the U.S. was in 1989 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. Today microfibers are produced in a variety of synthetic fibers (i.e. polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc.) The true definition of a microfiber is a fiber that has less than one denier per filament. Micro Fiber is the thinnest, finest of all man-made fibers. It is finer than the most delicate silk. To relate it to something more familiar: a human hair is more than 100 times the size of some microfibers.

1991: In 1991 the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK) acquired from Vanners Silks Ltd - a group of ninety-seven silk designs, mostly by James Leman, which had been on loan to the museum for a number of years. The museum also acquired from the textile firm of Warners, a total of 25 pattern books, thirteen of them containing 18th and early 19th century woven silks. The Warner Archives was further substantiated from acquisition of archives of firms that Benjamin Warner took over in the late 19th century.

Silk design by James Leman “taken from a Dutch stuff” (1717).

1993: The first commercial production of lyocell in the U.S. was in 1993 by Courtaulds Fibers, under the Tencel - trade name. Environmentally friendly, lyocell is produced from the wood pulp of trees grown specifically for this purpose. It is specially processed, using a solvent spinning technique in which the dissolving agent is recycled, reducing environmental effluents.

2001: 9/11 Quilter's Relief and Memorial projects get underway.

2002: Gene's Bend Quilt Exhibition tours throughout the USA.

2003: Iraq war begins. War relief quilt projects gets underway.

2004: France passed a law that banned the wearing of Muslim headscarves in public schools.

2005: Hurricane Karina destroys New Orleans and its surrounds. Katrina relief quilt projects get underway (USA).

2008 - 2011: ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions was the first inaugural ArtCloth exhibition in Australia. The exhibition was conceived by Marie-Therese Wisniowski in 2008. It was exhibited at the Fairfield City Museum and Gallery (NSW) 29th August - 11th October 2009, Orange Regional Gallery (NSW) 9th of April - 30th May 2010, and Redcliffe City Art Gallery (Queensland) 11th - 28th August 2010 and at the Wangaratta Gallery (Victoria) between 11th December 2010 and 23rd January 2011.Twenty-one artworks were exhibited. Artists: USA - Laura Beehler, Regina Benson, Jane Dunnewold, Jeanne Raffer Beck, Joan Schulze, and Joan Truckenbrod; Europe - Claire Benn (England), Claudia Helmer (Germany), Cas Holmes (England), Jurate Petruskeviciene (Lithuania), Norma Starszakowna (Scotland), Jurate Urbiene (Lithuania) and Els van Baarle (The Netherlands); Australasia - Ken Kagajo (Japan), Susan Fell-McLean (Australia), Helen Lancaster (Australia), Julie Ryder (Australia), Tjariya (Nungalka) Stanley (Ernabella Arts, Australia), Tjunkaya Tapaya (Ernabella Arts, Australia), Annie Trevillian (Australia) and Marie-Therese Wisniowski (Australia).

Marie-Therse Wisniowski at Redcliffe City Art Gallery.
Photographs courtesy of Karen Tyler, Redcliffe City Art Gallery. Photography by Al Sim.

[1] Susan C. Druding, Dye History from 2600 BC to the 20th Century - Originally written for a Seminar presented in Seattle, Washington at Convergence 1982, a bi-annual gathering of weavers, dyers and spinners.
See -
[2] Threads In Tyme, LTD: Timeline of Fabric History - Important Dates in Fabric History.
See -
[3] E. S. Roberts, The Quilt: A History and Celebration of an American Art Form, Voyaguer Press, Minneapolis (2010).
[4] S. Roach, About Quilts: An Overview.
See -
[5] W.F. Volbach, Early Decorative Textiles, Paul Hamlyn, New York (1969).
[6] See -
[7] Acadeic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias.
See -
[8] The 1911 Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
See -
[9] Red Dawn.Net
See -
and reference therein.
[10] INTERNATIONAL QUILT STUDY CENTER, Quilt History Timeline, Pre-History – 1800, Compiled by Carolyn Ducey, IQSC Curator (and references therein).
[11] National Park Service.
See -
[12] N. Hollen and J. Saddler, Textiles, 3rd Edition, The Macmillan Company, Toronto (1968).
[13] Hua Mei, Chinese Clothing, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2010.
[14] Reader's Digest - Reverse Dictionary, Reader's Digest Association Ltd., Sydney (1989).
[15] R. Dayan and W. Feinberg, Crafts of Israel, MacMillan Publishing Co Inc., New York (1974).
[17] Marie-Therese Wisniowski, Personnel Communication (2014).


Art2wear said...

Here is a link to Vlisco which might be of interest to you

Brett said...

Well done Marie-Therese! I will direct my students to your blog.

Pené Deluxe said...

Obrigada! Thank you for the amazing and very informative article, this is the most important in the internet, when they have people some preoccupied to change good informations, without expected to have glories. Thank you one more time.

Art Quill Studio said...

Thanks Marijke, Brett and Pene for your kind comments. I hope that each of you, the students and other textile enthusiasts enjoy the information provided in the Glossary/Art Resource and find the content beneficial.