This is a child's wholecloth quilt made in the late 1800s from a fine wool paisley dress fabric. The quilt has been machine quilted, with a central medallion. The wadding is a blanket.
Dr Philip Sykas, Research Associate at Manchester Metropolitan, studied the quilt at a workshop at The Minerva Arts Centre in September 2009. He pointed out that this quilt was produced after 1889 because the fabric is dyed with synthetic Turkey red. Authentic Turkey red was made throughout the late 18th and early – mid 19th century, with the centres of production being Alsace in France, the Vale of Leven north of Glasgow in Scotland, and Lancashire.
The familiar “teardrop” paisley pattern originated in Iran and India, but was adopted by Scottish printing works, originally for shawls and also for dress fabrics. It was named after the town of Paisley where production was particularly prolific.
Red was traditionally believed to protect children. Red flannel was hung around the door of a sick child’s room.