She goes on to say:
"Pieced quilt consisting of worsted wool top, batting, and a plain-woven wool backing. The top consists of large square, rectangular, and triangular pieces of glazed and unglazed calamanco... The worsted that forms the top is a variety of glazed and unglazed calamancos including satin-woven striped, plain-woven domestically produced, and twill-woven. One triangular piece of the top is a printed twill-woven wool. The center of the quilt has two large square pieces of red calamanco....The backing consists of plain-woven undyed linen."
Pieced calimanco quilts are not so common. It's all a good excuse to look at some amazing compositions."Betsey Payne (b. 1782), probably of Lebanon, Connecticut...likely made it in anticipation of her wedding, on 7 June 1808, to Jonathan Hatch (1777-1833), also of Lebanon....Calamanco was a fine, imported woolen fabric that was used for both furnishings, such as bed coverings and upholstery, and costume items, such as petticoats and waistcoats. The backing of the quilt is a coarse, buff-colored wool that was possibly homespun."
Leimomi Oakes (Mad Sewentist) summarizes the cloth in question in this post:
"Calamanco (also spelled callimanco, calimanco, and kalamink) is a thin fabric of worsted wool yarn which could come in a number of weaves: plain, satin, damasked, and was even brocaded in floral, striped and checked designs. The surface was glazed or calendered (pressed through hot rollers)."
"These wholecloth wool ones are also often calimanco, that calendered wool with a slight sheen from having heated heavy metal rollers press the fibers down to give it that shine. (We often say glazed but there’s no actual substance applied to create the glaze as far as I’ve ever read.)"
Twentieth-century curators tended to call these all wool quilts Linsey Woolsey or Linsey quilts but a basic definition of linsey is a combination weave of linen and wool or cotton and wool.
Winterthur curator Florence Montgomery did a lot to change the terminology on bedcovers erroneously described as Linsey Woolsey to the more accurate calimanco. There are other words as textile terms are not consistent, particularly over time, but calimanco seems to be the standard today. She spelled it with an "i".
Yet calimanco bedquilts seem to be a New England/New York regionalism. Did women outside New England transfer the idea of calendered wool to bedcovers? The French and British might wear a skirt with an open front revealing a silk underskirt, the robe à la Français, but was wool more suited to the New England climate and taste? Or the regional quality of these as New England and New York quilts might simply be due to the availability of British calimancoes---shipped into Massachusetts and New York, rather than Charleston or Baltimore.
Read Lynne Z. Bassett's essay on wool whole-cloth bedquilts in Kimberly Wulfert's blog post by clicking here: