Paper Quilling

What is paper quilling?

According to Wikipedia, quilling, also called paper filigree, is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs.  This art technique was developed during the Renaissance period, between the 14th and 17th centuries, and was used by French and Italian nuns and monks.  Quilling was used to decorate books and religious items.  Taking a long narrow strip of paper, they would wrap it around a tool called a ‘quill’ and then glue the tip to create a basic coil shape.  During the Renaissance Age, quilling resembled ironwork of the day.

In the 18th century, quilling became popular in Europe.  Gentle-ladies, or “ladies of leisure,” learned to quill as it was not too taxing for their gentle minds.  There are also some examples of quilling done in Colonial America.  Quilling may also be paired with embroidery or painting.

Where can you find quilling?  Tea caddies, wine coasters, coats of arms, jewelry boxes with drawers and/or tops that opened, ladies’ purses, and a wide range of both pictures and frames.

Quilling has changed through the ages and undergone many transformations with new techniques, styles, and materials.  Dimensional quilling creates 3D pieces!

This art technique has become increasingly popular in recent times due its inexpensive nature and accessibility to people from all walks of life.

Here is a close-up picture of a quilled chess board created by Kathy: