From the Nadal Baltimore album
NMAH, Smithsonian Collection
1847 from Cindy's Antique Quilts
Massachusetts Quilts: Our Common Wealth.
"The argument has been made and frequently repeated that signed friendship quilts became possible...because of improvements in commercially available ink and the invention of the steel nib pen...."
That argument is not supported by facts. If you go to her footnote...
"the best ink...was India ink, imported from China, which had been known...for centuries already. Even so, many women continued to make their own ink at home...."
From a quilt dated 1852
India ink did not deteriorate the fabric like this
Lynne mentioned reticules, bags with inking like this English item dated 1810."Inking designs on cotton cloth was not new [in the 1840s]; inkwork was a fancywork technique practiced in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries."
Album quilters combined an older fancywork with patchwork
in their new-style quilts of the 1840s. There is no cause and
effect between ink technological changes and album quilts
Well, who has been spreading this misinformation about manufactured ink being
the genesis of the album quilt fashion?
Signature on a moth's wings
Get out your copy of Clues in the Calico,
my 1989 book, and cross out as shown on page 118.
Forget that first paragraph. The rest about inking still holds up.
Collection of the American Museum in Bath, England
Tomorrow: My Paper