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Unknown Maker

Whole-Cloth Quilt
about 1825 Pennsylvania
chintz and furnishing fabric; quilted in concentric diamonds
108 x 103 3/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Patricia Smith Melton

Whole-cloth quilts are fabricated from panels of a single fabric sewn together side by side. They often formed part of a set of textile furnishings for master bedrooms in upper-class homes. The same costly material would be used for the curtains, valences, and covers of four-poster beds, as well as for slipcovers on chairs and daybeds, and for floor-length window curtains. While the top of this quilt is composed of a block-printed, floral ribbon chintz of English origin, the whole-cloth backing is made from a toile—a fine cotton cloth printed with detailed pictorial designs.