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History of Quilling

 

History of Quilling

Paper quilling, also known as paper filigree, is an art form that is over five hundred years old.  The name is derived from the feather quill, on which the strips of paper were rolled.  Quilling seems to be connected with the invention of paper in China around 105 AD.  the first known quillers were most likely members of European religious orders.  Nuns would create ornate designs of quilling to embellish religious articles.  Quilling spread to England by the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  It was brought to the American colonies and was taught to proper young ladies.  Colonial Williamsburg still has many examples of quilling in its museums.

The technique of quilling has evolved to using a hatpin, quilling tool, or even fingers to roll the narrow strips of paper, shaping each of the individual segments.  The segments are then joined together forming the desired design, which may take hours, even days, to achieve the finished effect. 

 

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Last modified: May 09, 2008