Quilting can be known as either a hobby or business, with many different options in quilts available. Handmade quilts are a specialty market, with the industry reaching the size of about $3.7 billion at this point. Some quilts are very large, while others are quite specific to the requests of a certain customer. Therefore, quilting is a very skilled task overall.
History of Quilting
Dating back to about 3400 B.C., there is much to see in the centuries of history around handmade quilts. As far back as ancient Egypt and China, there were very special quilts made of three layers of fabric sewn together. Several other types of specialty quilts have come along throughout the centuries, with some of them serving as personal gifts and others as national monuments. The different titles of some of these handmade quilts include:
- Custom memory quilts
- Custom quilts
- Bereavement quilts
- Custom memory quilts
- Custom t-shirt quilts
No matter the special customization that is requested for any particular quilt, custom quilt makers are able to design patterns and use the materials that are either provided or requested. Luckily, many quilters often have thousands of dollars worth of tools at any time, while there is also about $6,000 worth of fabric stored in their studio for the activity of quilting.
The Size of The Current Quilting Industry
At this point, about 14% of American households have at least one quilter. These could be custom quilt makers, memory quilt makers, t-shirt quilt makers, or those of any other style. There are also different styles included in the work that these quilters do. With over 80% of them being traditional, there are also almost 40% that take on art quilting and 35% that enjoy modern quilting. With so many different styles available, there is a broad amount of work and enjoyment to be had in the art of quilting.
Most quilts in the past were handmade, often as a gift from one family member to another. Some are memory quilts that include photos or other fabrics that share memories of a person’s lifetime, or a family’s time together. With handmade quilts, they can be more specific to the needs of an individual person or made to reach out to an individual’s personality.
With over 21 million quilters around the world, there is much to gain from this industry. It has been a part of national history as well, with the world’s largest quilt being the AIDS quilt that weight about 54 tons. Then, there is the oldest quilt, the Tristan Quilt dating back to about 1400. Considering all of this, there is much to be said for the life of quilting, and its lasting presence as an industry over time.