Dating textiles

Signature and raffle quilts tell us about families, community organizations, and churches.

Crazy quilts tells us about the maker's interests as well as her hand sewing ability.

The study into quilt history is a rapidly growing area of research in American history: the important role women played in our history; domestic life in the 18th-20 centuries; development of the textile industry in the Asia, India, Europe and America; the purpose for making quilts; their pattern and style development over time; current reproduction fabrics; and last but not least, dating a quilt or a single piece of fabric by its dyes and the method used to print it.

Quilts also reflect social history, such as the westward expansion, pioneering on the Plains, wars, political and religious campaigns and symbols, working women, interior design through time and more.

Genetic analysis suggests that the human body louse, which lives in clothing, may only have diverged from the head louse some 170 millennia ago, which supports evidence that humans began wearing clothing at around this time.

Research Scientist at the NSF Arizona AMS Facility and Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Ariz. Its primary use is for radiocarbon dating of small samples of carbon, although many measurements have also been made on the longer-lived radionuclides such as I, which have applications to geology and marine studies.

Meeting;; Tielt, Belgium : Lannoo Publishers, ©2007.

Scholarship of textile history, especially its earlier stages, is part of material culture studies.The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of most human societies.It is not known when humans began wearing clothes but anthropologists believe that animal skins and vegetation were adapted into coverings as protection from cold, heat and rain, especially as humans migrated to new climates.Generally, by the early 1930s narrow widths were replaced by 36″ to 39″ for most all American dressmaking cottons and by the early 60s the standard was 42″ to 44″ though some 36″ widths cottons lingered on for another decade.One notable holdout is Liberty of London lawn still being manufactured in 36″.Often width, color, design, weave and appearance can be good indicators.Widths, while iffy and weak signals, nevertheless can generate a time frame.Clothing and textiles have been important in human history and reflect the materials available to a civilization as well as the technologies that had been mastered.The social significance of the finished product reflects their culture.Embroidered and appliqué kit quilts tells us about women in business in the 20th century and the readers of newspapers that featured the quilt pattern of the week.Quilts, women and men, from all walks of life and geographic location can open our eyes and our heart to those who sewed before us.

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