Back to the main Quilters' Guild website

Books related to British Quilt and Fabric History

– updated 17 March 2014


This list is not exhaustive but will give the reader a good basic knowledge of the subject. If you find other useful additional books please let BQSG know as this list will be updated at regular intervals. You should note however that as a British-based research group the books have a British emphasis.

General books on historic quilts and coverlets

Rosemary Allan, Quilts and Coverlets: The Beamish Collections (Beamish Open Air Museum, 2007)

Heather Audin, Patchwork and Quilting in Britain (Shire Publications, Oxford, 2013)

British Quilt Study Group, Quilt Studies, Issues 1­–13. A list of contents of the research papers can be found on this website under Publications.

Averil Colby, Patchwork (London: Batsford, 1958)

Averil Colby, Patchwork Quilts (London: Batsford, 1965)

Averil Colby, Quilts (London: Batsford, 1972)

Mavis FitzRandolph, Traditional Quilting (London: Batsford, 1954)

Melanie Gardiner, Stitches in Time: The Tullie House Quilt Collection, Carlisle, Reeds Ltd for Tullie House Museum and Gallery, 2004

Elizabeth Hake, English Quilting Old and New (London: Batsford, 1937; republished in hardback by Read Books, 2010)

Jennifer Harris, ed., 5000 Years of Textiles (London, 1993)

Jessica Hemmings, ed., The Textile Reader (Berg, London, 20120

Jen Jones, Welsh Quilts (Towy Publishing, 1997)

Bridget Long, The Quilters’ Guild Collection: Contemporary Quilts Heritage Inspiration (Newton Abbot: David and Charles Ltd, 2005; published by F&W Publishing Inc. in USA)

Hazel Mills, ed., It's All in the Making: patchwork and quilting unpicked (British Quilt Study Group and The Quilters Guild of the British Isles, York, 2013)

Dorothy Osler, Traditional British Quilts (London: Batsford, 1987)

Dorothy Osler, North Country Quilts: Legend and Living Tradition (Bowes Museum, 2000)

Dorothy Osler, Amish Quilts and the Welsh Connection (Schiffer, 2011)

Linda Parry, A Practical Guide to Patchwork from the Victoria and Albert Museum (London: Unwin, 1987)

Sue Prichard, ed., Quilts 1700–2010 (V&A Publishing, 2010)

Janet Rae, The Quilts of the British Isles (London: Constable, 1987)

Janet Rae et al, Quilt Treasures: The Quilters’ Guild Heritage Search (London: McDonald Books, 1995; QGBI, 2010)

Janet Rae and Dinah Travis, Making Connections: Around the World with Log Cabin (Chartham, England: RT Publishing, 2004)

Josie Sheppard, Through the Needle’s Eye: The Patchwork and Quilt Collection at York Castle Museum (York Museums Trust, 2005)

Christine Stevens, Quilts (Welsh Folk Museum, 1993)

British Fabrics

See section on Fabric Identification in Janet Rae et al, Quilt Treasures: The Quilters’ Guild Heritage Search (London, McDonald Books, 1995; QGBI, 2010)

Jane Ashelford, The Art of Dress: Clothes and Society, 15001914 (National Trust, 1996)

Helen Bower, Textiles at Temple Newsam (Leeds Museums and Galleries, 2000)

Rosemary Crill, Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West (London: V&A Publishing, 2008)

Simon Garfield, Mauve: how one man invented a colour that changed the world (London: Faber and Faber, 2000)

Wendy Hefford, The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Textile Collection: Design for Printed Textiles in England from 1750 to1850 (London: The Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1992)

Linda Parry, Victoria and Albert Museum’s Textile Collection: British Textiles from 1850 to1900 (London: The Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1997)

Florence Montgomery, Printed Textiles: English and American Cottons and Linens 1700–1850 (London: Thames and Hudson, 1970)

Ursula Priestley, The Fabric of Stuffs: the Norwich textile industry from 1565 (The Centre for East Anglian Studies, UEA, 1990)

Rothstein, Natalie (ed.),Barbara Johnson’s Album of Fashion and Fabrics (London: V&A, 1987)

Mary Schoeser and Celia Rufey, English and American Textiles from 1790 to the Present (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1989)

Philip Sykas, The Secret Life of Textiles: Six Pattern Book Archives in North West England (Bolton Museums, 2005)

Philip Sykas, Identifying Printed Textiles in Dress 1740–1890. This booklet can be downloaded from www.dressandtextilespecialists.org.uk/Print%20Booklet.pdf.

Jane Tozer and Sarah Levitt, Fabric of Society: A Century of People and their Clothes 1770–1870 (Powys: Laura Ashley Ltd, 1983)

The Victoria and Albert Colour Books: Rococo Silks (Devon and London: Webb & Bower Ltd, The Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985)

The Victoria and Albert Colour Books: Patterns for Textiles (Devon and London: Webb & Bower Ltd, The Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1987)

John Styles, The Dress of the People – Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007)

Textiles and Textile Printing

Jennifer Harris, ed., 5000 Years of Textiles (London, 1993)

D. Jenkins, Cambridge History of Western Textiles (CUP, 2003)

Sue Kerry, Identifying Woven Textiles (can be downloaded from www.dressandtextilespecialists.org.uk)

Deryn O’Connor and Hero Granger Taylor, Colour and the Calico Printer (Farnham, 1982)

Joyce Storey, Textile Printing (London, 1974)