It’s suddenly gone very, VERY chilly here in Mid-Wales.  We had all been fooled into thinking that Winter was never going to arrive but this morning we awoke to a really heavy frost which hasn’t budged all day.  It’s got me really appreciating my central heating and I’ve been thinking, if I had been here over a hundred years ago, how glad I would have been to have a warm, cosy quilt to keep my toes warm.

The area around Llanidloes was renowned for its flannel making during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and, naturally, we are proud of the locally made flannel quilts in our collection.  This stunning one was made by Elizabeth Ashton (1873 – 1930) of Ty Capel, Llawryglyn near Llanidloes between 1890 – 1900.  Llawryglyn is the next village along from me and so I can picture exactly where Elizabeth was when she made this quilt. It measures 2105 x 2020mm and is a patchwork crosses design made of woollen fabrics, some of which have been fulled. Some fabrics are plain weave, others are twill. The quilt is held together with simple hand quilting. It has a plain weave red flannel binding.  If you look at it closely, as in this next photo, you can see how lovely and warm it would have been in the depths of winter.  It looks well used and loved but also very carefully looked after.

We’re so lucky to have been given this quilt to care for, so that future generations can see the work and love that went into making it.

3 thoughts on “Brrrr!!!

  1. In the article you say “…some of which have been fulled” I don’t know what this means, can you clarify please. Thank you

    • Hi June.
      Thanks very much for your question. ‘Fulling’ cloth was done, firstly, to clean the fabric and secondly to thicken the cloth by matting the fibres together. The process also made the cloth stronger. In Mid-Wales there were many fulling mills in the 18th and 19th centuries, where the cloth was beaten with wooden hammers. In Wales a fulling mill was called a pandy. The wet cloth was then stretched on a wooden frame called a tenter frame – hence the expression ‘being on tenterhooks’!! If you’re interested, there’s an interesting post on this blog by a Welsh spinner and knitter:

      Hope this helps

      Kind regards, Chris

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