Wednesday, 12 May 2010

1478 quilted vestment in Cirencester

In Cirencester Parish Church I got very excited to find a quilted vestment dated 1478. The church itself is quite wonderful more like a small cathedral.
These photos are less than brilliant, only my phone without a flash. The fabric originally had a pile but most has disappeared, more is left on the cream than the blue. It is quilted in diamonds with roughly 3" between the rows. You might just be able to make out the quilting stitches if you click on the photos.

The embroideries are padded and in gold thread.

This is most of the vestment, I could fit it all in. At a guess I'd say it is about 60" wide and I don't know how high.


  1. Isn't it stunning...I had no idea "quilting" dated back that far!

  2. Quilting goes back at least to the first century of the Common Era. It was known in Europe as early as the 12th century and was flourishing by the late 14th century, when the Tristan quilt at the V&A was made somewhere in Sicily. There's even a quilted piece of patchwork in Hungary that dates from the 1370's or thereabouts!

    The vestment is gorgeous - those Italian cut velvets are legendary. Great find, Sally!

    Lisa Evans

  3. Amazing!! I just love the expressions on the little people's faces! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. I would imagine that the church was built when the area was very prosperous with a large population, who showed their wealth and charity in public buildings.
    Colyton in Devon also has an overlarge church - built to serve a community which was almost wiped out by the Black Death.

  5. Wow, this is really impressive. Thanks for posting.