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Haptic & Hue

Oct 7, 2021

Textiles can tell us different stories – not just those of the rich and powerful – they have the power to take us beyond that and tell us tales of working people, families living difficult lives in tough times, those whom history and the written records tend to overlook. This episode is about whole cloth quilting. It explores how this technique and process eventually settled in one area of England and became an emblem of pride and local identity for people who had hardscrabble lives.   


North Country whole cloth quilts are very different from patchwork quilts. Their showmanship lies in the swirling design of the quilting stitches on a completely plain background. Quilting is a process that goes back centuries, used by rich and poor alike to keep warm, as a rudimentary armour in battle, and to dress babies. Find out how this technique became identified with an area of England that stretches from North Yorkshire up onto the Scottish Borders and developed an elaborate artistry all of its own – one that even today is little known and appreciated.


You can see pictures of the textiles we talk about in this episode, a full script, and a list of further resources on the Haptic and Hue Website at