In January, I did a few posts about quilt backings. As I was preparing some quilts to take to my favorite machine quilter Terri Trotter, I wondered about one more thing.
When did double wide backings become available? There was a time I did pieced backs myself--when I hand quilted or even machine quilted. These days, most machine quilters prefer a single piece of double wide backing to adhere to the machines. I get it. The fabrics and batting are pulled tight and no one wants to discover loose stitches or a gap in the back.
Above: A family quilt circa 1910. The back is one fabric that is pieced together to meet the required width. You can see above where the plaid doesn't match quite perfectly and where the fabric was pieced.
Advertisements that marketed "quilt backings" don't appear in many newspapers before the 1930s. It may have been because most women understood how to piece their backs. But in the 1930s as quilting became widely popular, I found more ads.
At first I found a variety of ads in the 30+ inch category:
By the 1960s, it seems that wider fabric had really arrived. An early ad from 1963 indicates they have fabric perfect for a cross-stitch quilt.
Maybe you are like me and wondering about the colors of quilt backing. Apparently different solid colors became available in the 1980s: