America's Early Years During America's early years fabrics with a gloss to them were preferred.
There are some surviving samples of this polished fabric in both cotton and wool. If you are reproducing a very early quilt using chintz appliqu you will have a bit of a challenge as there are a great many reproduction fabrics you can use but most do not have the sheen found in these early fabrics.
Latter Nineteenth Century Synthetic dye was discovered by accident by a scientist who was attempting to create artificial quinine.
This began a new era as various colorfast dyes were developed.
Women could buy packaged natural dyes for use at home and by 1880 even the synthetic dyes were available to them.
Women may have dyed solid fabrics at home but manufactured prints had to be purchased.
Paisleys, stripes, geometrics and florals are often seen on fabric during this period.
Conversational prints of animals, sports and sewing motifs became popular.