You will probably never look at fabric in the same light again after reading this colorful side of textile history.Prior to the Revolutionary War, America shipped her plentiful supply of raw cotton to Britain, where it was spun, woven, printed and sold back to her as yardage.The background is too red to be an accurate reproduction but those birds isolated would look pretty good.

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Cotton was a softer material to wear than linen and wool, but it was so drab in appearance.

Thanks to the Indian dyer’s discovery of mordants, cotton could be printed in deep, richly colored designs.

Cotton is a cellulose fiber with molecules shaped unlike the carbon-based protein molecules of natural dyes. Wool and silk molecules are liked shaped and do not require the help of mordants to produce colorfast results.

The early dyers believed that adding animal proteins to the dye mix would help the penetration of the dye into the cotton.

Dye can sit on top and look fine at first, but easily washes out or fades to light in no time at all.

This is why the first cotton prints from India were so enormously popular.

Quilt Historians You can find out more about the quilt historians in this article: quilt designs You will find lots here on Pinterest I would love to make a few of these. Coming up soon I will go through the steps to make my first contemporary quilt.

Bird prints were so popular with quilters during the 1810-1840 period that reproduction stashes require them, but they are hard to find in quilt-weight fabric.

In the pioneer era quilting became very popular because of the rise of the textile industry and the availability of inexpensive fabrics.