2nd Pre-1750 Italian Work, Cord Quilted Infant Cap
Poppies Cottage Blog of November 20th, 2016 'Quilting Techniques for Clothing in the 18th Century'
Apologies for the dull photographs - I will take them again when the light is better. This cap appears grey, which is isn't at all! It is a lovely pale cream in colour.
This is the second of two delightful early quilted infant caps to offer you in my Heads Up to 2020 theme!
This one does not have a pointed front and is the classic shape of an 18th Century infant cap. See below though, as I think we can also date this one to pre-1750.
This cap has small faults and so the price is less. However, if you are learning about quilting techniques this is definitely the best because we can actually see how this most skilled of work was carried out!
This cap is cord quilted, the quilting being extremely fine and complex.
This is important, because cord quilting was the most difficult and skilled of all the quilting techniques and went out of fashion by circa 1750 [probably because it was so intricate]. You can read all about the range of quilting techniques [and see examples] in my Blog of 2016 'Quilting Techniques for Clothing in the 18th Century' - again see above for details. Cord quilting is also called Italian quilting, so you can look both titles up.
So, we can be quite sure that this is an early cap!
Most 18th Century caps are constructed in three sections, running from back to front, but new to me [and I have examined many 18th Century caps] is that each section of this one is edge bound in very fine and narrow linen. Another early indicator?
The quilting design on this cap is profuse, and consists mainly of flower heads and swirls, when the cording is threaded through the two linen layers in continuous circles that must have been tremendously intricate work.
Although I will mention this in the condition report below, one of the faults with this cap is that on the surface, a few of the cord ends has broken through the linen surface. I have tried to show this in the photo's. Yes, a fault. But also a rare chance to see how this cord quilting was actually done, with two fine layers of linen having tiny strands of cord being inserted to make these glorious designs! Very simple to cut them off. Being a nurd, I would not touch them!
Even more interesting, the perfect inner cap shows a series of tiny raised spots - these are where the cords have been inserted and secured [and must NEVER be cut off!]
A wonder to examine, if you are interested in these early techniques.
This cap is larger than the other. The size is just 7.5" long from the centre front to the opposite end. The depth of each side is 3.75". Maybe this was a cap for the same family, with a baby just a little older? The number of stitches per inch are impossible to count, they are so minute.
Although in good condition for age, do check the condition report below before purchasing.
As I explained at the start of the description, this cap does have some small faults.
Also as above, my photogrpahs were taken in poor light which make the images appear grey. The cap is not at all grey. It is a beautiful pale cream linen. However, this one has a band of general pale age discolouration around the 'face'. These caps can easily be soaked in COLD water to remove this kind of age discolouration. Please dry naturally!
Just as with the first cap, this piece also has a small patch of tiny surface dots that could be pen/ink.
I have tried to show in one photo that one of the seams of the cap has come open in two closely spaced gaps. The largest is 1" long. Very easy to close with a few stitches.
Now, if you inspect the cap closely, you will find a little patch of wear to the surface layer of linen. The bottom layer is still completely undamaged.
As I explained above, the cord ends that have broken through on the top side can easily be cut off. But I love them because they show the cord quilting right there in front of your eyes!
The inside of the cap is perfect.