Quilling is the art of using strips of paper and card through rolling, looping, curling and twisting to create beautiful pictures and designs.
The art of quilling is an ancient one, beginning around the 17th Century by Italian and French nuns to decorate reliquaries and other religious artefacts. The art spread to England with the development of paper – vellum and parchment were also used.
It became a popular pastime for wealthy and aristocratic ladies of the Stuart, Georgian and Regency periods to use on work panels and coats-of-arms. It then moved on to being used in the decoration of items such as boxes, screens, cabinets and tea caddies.
The popularity of quilling ( also know as paper filigree) has fluctuated throughout the centuries but over the past 40 years the craft has seen a revival. There are many quilling groups and organisations including the Quilling Guild. Their website is http://quilling-guild.weebly.com/.
Quilling is a great and economical way to create beautiful and intricate designs and patterns, and only need involve a few items such as glue and a needle tool, in addition to any paper/card you wish to use. There are numerous styles you can create in quilling including weaving, plaiting, folding, crimping and tubing. You can also make paper beads that can be incorporated into jewellery pieces.
If you would like to try your hand at quilling, we have some packs available that have been put together by Cathy Russell, a member of the Quilling Guild. To view these please click here. Cathy has been quilling for 30 years and teaches small groups whenever she gets the opportunity. In the past she has also run courses for Adult Education services and privately at craft centres, and enjoys giving talks and demonstrating at craft fairs.
We also have some of Cathy’s work available to buy in our Shop – you can see these by visiting our Art, Prints and Paper section.
Images above are Quilling Packs by Cathy Russell. Images below are examples of Cathy Russell’s work (which are currently available to buy on our website).