Often displayed as artwork in this century, historically whole cloth or multi cloth quilts were used to cover the beds, and this type of use exists even today. It is a kind of textile having multi-layers. As per tradition, it comprises of three layers made of fibre- woven cloth as the outer cover, wadding or batting layer and a back woven properly. All three layers are woven following the process of quilting: sewing all the layers all together.
What is a quilt?
In the case of a quilt, its most importation decorative element is the stitching which forms the designs and patterns. Often the outer cover contains a patchwork of pieces of multiple cloths stitched together to form the desired design and pattern.
Quilts are in actual materials with less filling or sometimes no filling at all. This, thus make quilts very much breathable and useful in seasons like summer and spring. Nonetheless, having historical background quilts have multiple uses. It not only can be used as bedding but also as decorations, commemoration, art, etc. One can see now, many incorporations of quilting processes in modern garments. Competitions regarding quilt or quilting have risen to an exceptional level in Japan, the United States, and Europe.
Most quilts are handmade. However, for more products or to increase the rate of production of the quilts, nowadays machines are used. However, handmade quilts have their separate charm which cannot be beaten by the machine-made ones.
Features of machine-made quilts:
Features of handmade quilts:
The main difference between handmade quilt and machine-made quilts is that handmade quilts are made at home using needle and thread and machine-made quilts are made using sewing machines.
The various types of handmade quilts:
There is a wide range of types of handmade quilts. Some of them are as follows:
Oceania, Africa, and South America
Techniques of quilting
Patchwork- It involves sewing different types of pieces of clothes together to form a pattern or design.
Appliqué- In this process, one upper layer sewn onto a ground layer or fabric.
Reverse appliqué- it is a technique of sewing where the ground fabrics are cut, and another piece is placed beneath the ground layer. The lower fabric's raw edges are tucked under. The folded edge is then sewn down onto the lowermost fabric.
Other techniques, for example, are Trapunto, embellishment, English appear piecing, foundation piecing, etc.
Advantages of handmade quilts:
Apart from the great designs and patterns, which is a key factor to use quilts, quilts are also being used due to various other reasons. Being very lightweight, it is easier to carry. Quilts are cheaper than the sleeping bags which come with zipper and all. So it is cost-saving. Quilts offer great help in movement, unlike sleeping bags. Quilts have a high warmth to weight ratio and are very efficient. The freedom of using quilts wherever one wants, whenever one wants and to use it in various ways, has lead to its popularity. Also, it comes in different shapes, sizes and designs or patterns.
Often overlooked Indian quilts bear an unnoticed rich history of quilts. An Indian quilt can be portrayed as a higher work of art and also it offers more comfort because handmade quilts are made herewith much care and love and passion. In states like West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, and many more quilts convey the particular culture of designs through the quilt designs and patterns. Often women are engaged more in making quilts in India. Today more importance is being given to these original handmade quilts so that the whole world can know about a beautiful culture of quilting in India.
A special kind of quilt
Unlike European quilts which are generally filled with the finest cotton and are also used as blankets in few places, Indian quilts are much lighter weight as per the weather of India. There are various kinds of quilts in India. Credit goes to the various kinds of the culture of the country. Out of all Jaipuri quilts have gained much popularity. The exquisite and super quality quilts are of great magnificence. The authenticity and intricacy of designs are unparalleled in the world. Jaipuri quilt is also known as the famous Jaipuri Razai.
The Razai or “The Quilt of Jaipur” is an exquisite type of making quilt. ‘Jaipuri' here means from Jaipur while the word ‘Razai' is derived from the word ‘Razar' which means quilt. It involves many types of artistic integration at different levels of its making. Razai is nothing but a slow process of printing using hand and woodblocks. It involves many such decor items, and most of the works are done at home. In most cases, one can see a full community of people working together and producing such artworks. This process needs patience, passion, and love for the work. The material is generally cotton and quite comfortable and breathable. It is also snugly and soft. These hand and block printed special quilts are now high on demand. People from around the world are now buying these quilts.
About Jaipuri quilt
It is uniquely based on the designs and also functionality. Being handmade, artists and workers give full attention in skills, cotton carding, textile-making, voile making and of course quilting. The soft cloth makes the quilts very delicate. Quilts, as we know, are easily portable and can be used freely, and this is one of the main factors why people of Rajasthan preferred quilts more as they re always moving. This frequent moving nature of these people leads them to indulge themselves in making something that can be easily carried yet comfortable and durable. So they began making the famous Razai.
The workers start with the carding process. It involves the preparation of cotton, which later will be used in filling up the quilt. In the process of doing so, the workers make use of two carders. These carders are paddles of convex-shaped which are then covered with tiny sized teeth. The carders are then charged properly by the workers.
After completion of this process, what becomes exposed is the dross. Then the dross is carefully removed and taken care of. Only fibres cotton is left behind. The workers start work with all those cotton which weighs up to 2.2 pounds. Then they are carded for a whole week. Around a hundred grams of cotton is left behind to be taken care of.
Whether for a double bed or single bed Jaipuri Razai cab is used in both satisfying the user to the fullest. Sometimes quilts work as comforters depending on how much cold it is. Most importantly, Jaipuri Razai is washable.
It is not always possible or rather not possible at all to go to Jaipur to buy quilts. Nothing to be sad as Rajasthan quilts are easily available online. Choosing the finest, superb and desired designs and colours is solely on the customer. However, product quality must be checked, keeping in mind some points like:
Ø Quality of fabric- Spend the money for the best quality of fabric as at the end of the day, quilts must protect you from cold.
Ø Quality of stitches- Stitches quality determines how less dead spaces are created inside the quilt. To avoid lumps and dead spaces, one must well scrutinize the stitches.
Ø Products used for filling the quilt- Products used for filling up the quilts matter most as it determines the air entrapment capacity, which in turn determines the ability to give protection from cold temperatures.
Ø Lightweight- Obviously, weight is a factor as quilts are known for lightweight and easily portable yet comfortable.
Ø Comfortable- if al the above factors are well checked, then comfort is not a big deal.
Ø Length – quilts come in different shapes and sizes. Selecting the shape and size is solely upon you.
Apart from all this, you must always consider the service provided by the seller. It may be the case where you need clarity of confusion before buying the quilts. At that time, a friendly attitude from the seller must be expected. So always look forward to the customer-centric approach. Quilts can be even made with customization.
Thus now one can understand why quilts are so special, especially the handmade ones, which bear so much uniqueness that having one such product in your collection is a matter of grandeur.