Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Japanese Quilting: Evolution from BCE to NOW

 A friend, who creates beautiful art quilts, and I were in Paris. Of course, she had to check out the French fabric store. It was a surprise to me that almost all the quilters purchasing fabric were Americans and the fabric was from America!

Did you know that the USA is the leading exporter of Cotton? Or that we still have cotton textile mills? (I thought they went overseas and Sally Fields cum Norma Rae lost her union job!) In fact, these mills are spread over Southern states and the largest employs over 3500. 


Through my friend, I knew that Japan has many extraordinary quilters. Thinking that it was probably the result of their exposure to American post WW2, I was wrong about that, too. Seems they've been quilting since sometime around 300 BCE and 300 CE!



Japanese history follows the same route as American... or perhaps it's the reverse since they were first. Quilting was made for practical purposes... a warm coverlet or to offset the cold while outside. By the 8th century, quilting became an art form used to decorate the home such as futon covers or wall hangings.

 Just as Japanese decoration influenced the Impressionists, in turn, the growth of art quilts from other countries influenced the Japanese. Today, modern Japanese quilters eschew intricate patterns and motifs in preference for a minimalist approach making for visual stunning quilts in their simplicity.


  1. Thank you! As a quilter myself, fabrics make me drool. These are lovely examples of fine workmanship.

    1. You're welcome! Shopping with my friend, I often drooled over the batiks in particular. R. Atencio