Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Broderie Perse applique quilts from the 1812 era

French for Persian embroidery "broderie perse" came to refer to the applique of motifs cut from printed chintz onto a solid fabric. Popular in the late 1700s and into the 1800's broderie perse was generally for show with only the rich having the leisure time and access to the expensive English chintz prints needed to make them.

Quilt historian, Barbra Brackman, tells us: "Many were appliquéd with a tiny blanket stitch over raw edges. Rather than carefully cutting around each flower, most seamstresses cut a general shape. The secret is matching the background of the chintz to the appliqué background. From a distance the two blend and give the illusion of more detailed cutting." 

Photo by Susan Laird

This beautiful “Broderie Perse” quilt created in 1820 from  English chintz that was carefully cut out and appliquéd to the quilt surface.  This quilt is unusual because of its excellent condition and was obviously well cared for the past two centuries.  It is on display in Northern California at the Folsom History Museum's annual Antique Quilt and Vintage Fashion Exhibit through Sept. 5. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this - what an amazing quilt - and a good tip about matching with the background fabric - not easy to do !

  2. I am going to do make a very small broderie perse quilt.........15" square, just as an experiment to try that technique. I read that a very small buttonhole stitch is the appropriate stitch. How many stitches per inch, do you think?