Warp, Weft and the Printer's Block

"Warp, Weft and the Printer's Block" will explore the manufacture of cotton, silk, linen and wool in the 18th and 19th centuries and its use in quiltmaking. Items from the Quilters' Guild of the British Isles historic textile collection will be used to demonstrate the utilitarian, inventive, and often artistic output of the period's needlewomen.

The exhibition will include a spectacular example of broderie perse, "The Tree of Life". Dating from the late 18th or early 19th century, the coverlet is made of block printed cottons that have been cut out and applied to a linen ground.

Two other examples will show how fabric manufactured for clothing also found its way into quilts - a simply-executed quilt made of squares of mid 18th - century printed dress wools and a more complex patchwork strippy with wool and cotton squares on point slashed with black and purple.