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Cot set

Cot set

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1700-50 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    flat quilted and embroidered

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In the eighteenth century, a mother would 'lie in' for some weeks after the birth of her child, receiving visitors in her bedchamber. In celebration of a safe delivery, friends and relatives would bring gifts, and the baby's cot would be dressed with elaborate textiles that mimicked adult fashions, designed to show its high status.

This particular cot set has been flat quilted. Flat quilting is where two pieces of cloth are stitched together with no wadding in between. A single or double line of stitching creates the pattern. The style of the flowers imitates chintzes and Indian embroideries popular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

This set would have been an expensive item, drawn out by a professional pattern drawer and embroidered in a workshop. The two curtains may have been joined together at a later date, possibly in the nineteenth century when this style of cot curtain became popular. Children born into middling and aristocratic households grew up among objects that mirrored adult fashions. Ceremonial items such as this cot set tended to be formal, luxurious and rich in appearance, designed to show off both the baby and the status of the household into which he or she had been born. Here, the style of chainstitch embroidery recalls the fashions for chintzes and Indian embroideries that were popular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Physical description

Flat quilted cream linen cot cover and two curtains that have been joined at the upper edge. Flat quilted with a small, all-over diamond pattern in back stitch with cream silk thread, and embroidered with trailing flowers and leaves in red, pink, green and yellow silk thread. Both the cover and the curtain are lined with cotton and bound with green silk tape.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1700-50 (made)


Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

flat quilted and embroidered


Height: 93 cm, Width: 60 cm, Depth: 90 cm

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Sue Prichard (ed.), Quilts 1700-2010 (London: V&A, 2010) p.170


Linen; Cotton; Silk; Silk thread


Quilting; Embroidery


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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