Military Quilts

Modern example of a military quilt. USA. Modern example of a military quilt. USA.

Military or soldiers’ quilts are a form of nineteenth century patchwork quilts made by British soldiers from the wool serge or woven worsted and twill cloth used to make military uniforms. Apparently in the Great Exhibition of 1851, over thirty examples of quilts were submitted by military personnel. Soldiers were encouraged to take up sewing as an alternative to drinking and gambling.

It was also seen as a form of therapy for those injured in conflict and recuperating in hospital. There is a painting, for example, of private Thomas Walker who is working on a military quilt while recovering from wounds obtained during the Crimean War. The painting is now in the collection of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, and housed in the Hunterian Museum, London. Similar sewing initiatives were also set up during the First World War (1914-1918; such as the Bradford Khaki Handicrafts club) and the Second World War (1939-1945; such as the Needlecraft for H.M. Forces).

Also known as: Crimean quilts or soldiers' quilts.

Military quilts are still being made, also in the USA, sometimes using military badges.

Digital source (retrieved 9th May 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 6th July 2016).


Last modified on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 13:19
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