THE Italian embroidresses are responsible for introducing a very beautiful form of quilting that in many respects is even more dainty than the finest English quilting.
In this particular kind of quilting a feature of the work is the material used. Always it is transparent, and may be a good firm muslin, organdi, Jap silk, or thin crepe de Chine. The design itself is surrounded entirely by a double line of stitches instead of only one. As a rule these lines are run about of an inch apart to enable a thick wool to be threaded in between the materials to raise the design on the right side.
No interlining of wool is necessary, as it is only the design which is raised. The rest of the background appears plain, though it has actually a foundation of flannel or woollen fabric.
The advantage of using a transparent fabric is soon realized when several coloured wools are utilized to carry out a spray of flowers and leaves, for these colours show just faintly through the fabric and, if it is white or cream, make the quilting very dainty.
It has a silk foundation with quilted inside, stitched in diamond fashion in the English way, while the outer cover is made of the organdi, the design being carried out in green and two shades of pink.
No knots are used, and when the wool has passed the length required it is cut off. When going round a curve, it may be found impossible to continue slipping the wool in between without drawing it out of the foundation fabric; to avoid cutting it off it can be slipped under again without making a fresh hole, and at the end the wool can be cut off level with the material.
The wools chosen are naturally as bright as possible in order that the colours can be distinctly seen on the right side, if only in a faint way.
When Italian quilting is used for the border of a curtain or on a dressing-gown, the interlining is only tacked beneath the section of the material to be quilted, and the wrong side of the whole article made neat with a lining.
In this work it is very important to stitch the two materials very firmly together.
When used for household articles that require to be washed, always make sure that the dye of the wools chosen is fast.