Vintage Label Quilt, Part II

Five years ago I wrote about a quilt that was made of clothing labels.  It had taken me ten years to track it down, but I finally was put in touch with the owner, Chris Kluge.  Chris’s great grandfather started a label weaving company,  Artistic Weaving, which was at one time the world’s largest manufacturers of woven labels.  Using the word “artistic” as part of the company’s name was totally appropriate, as the labels are little works of art.  You can read the story of Artistic Weaving in my post from five years ago.

Several days ago I got an email from Seref Ozen, a dealer of antique textiles who lives in Istanbul, Turkey.  He was in possession of a similar quilt, and had found my old blog post in looking for information.  Instead of clothing labels, this one was made of woven Christmas greetings.  Many were signed by Albert Kluge, or stated that they were from the Artistic Weaving Company.

I really could not tell Seref anything else about his quilt, but I was intrigued.  How did such an obviously American item end up in his possession in Turkey?  What was the meaning of the woven greetings?

My first step was to contact Chris Kluge.  He confirmed what I suspected, that the company made their own woven Christmas greetings.  His great uncle Albert Kluge sent them to his customers and friends, and after Chris’s father inherited the business he continued the tradition until the business was sold in the late 1990s.

Chris also said that it was possible that these were designed by a Mr. Smith, who was a label artist at Artistic.  He “may well have created the colored sketch which was then ‘translated’ into jacquard punch cards for weaving the pictures.”

So how did this quilt end up in Istanbul?  Believe it or not, it came from Afghanistan. From Seref: “The piece was found by an Afghan picker in Afghanistan and an Uzbek picker” brought it to his attention.  He bought it.

There is really no way to know with certainty how this quilt ended up in Afghanistan, but Seref has a theory.  “I have no idea but I think, people are sending lots of aid boxes to Afghanistan because every now and then I find things that don’t make sense in Afghanistan.  I even got a YoYo quilt years ago.”

My guess is that these woven greetings were made in the 1920s through the 1940s.  The amount of detail is simply amazing.  If these don’t make you long for the days of wonderful woven labels, nothing will.

The entire quilt is quite large.

Gearing up for WWII?

19 Comments

Filed under Curiosities

19 responses to “Vintage Label Quilt, Part II

  1. joulesstar

    Absolutely incredible textile journey! (I recall your initial post about the firm.) Such beautiful work.

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  2. Christina

    Wonderful quilt! Interesting history and what a neat global connection.

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  3. THE TRUE ESSENCE of VINTAGE….WOW!!!

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  4. S

    Just amazing. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Lynne

    A fabulous quilt and a fascinating story, thanks.

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  6. my 2nd. reply…I am really fascinated by this story …and the quilt…just wonderful! The labels are just …little museum pieces themselves!?!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, that was cool!!! If I had a lot of money I would buy/donate it to the National Textile Museum in DC so anyone could see it.
    As for the donation thing, that makes sense. I’ve seen many photos of people in remote and turbulent global locations wearing t-shirts with incongruous logos: “St Louis Midtown YMCA Girls U-10 Soccer Champs 1995” or “Merrill Lynch-Denver 10K for The Cure.”

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  8. Thank you, Lizzie! I always find old woven labels fascinating.

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  9. Gorgeous quilt. It reminds me of the cigarette silk quilts. Here is one from the GRPM Collection: https://www.grpmcollections.org/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/41247

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  10. Mary Beth Pfaff

    The Golden Glow of Christmas Past group would find this quilt very interesting. It is a large group of antique/vintage holiday collectors and their annual convention is next week in Lancaster PA.

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  11. What an amazing item, and how incredible that it has ended up in Turkey! Are each of these the usual size of labels, or bigger (since they were sent out as Christmas greetings)?

    I’ll have to checkout the quilt Andrea posted about in person the next time I’m at GRPM.

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  12. What a great story–and how wonderful that the quilt survived. You have really convinced me that much of America’s textile history is located in it’s thrift stores and charity donation bags.

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  13. Wow, what a quilt and what a story this quilt has – very interesting. It’s nice that your readers are able to enjoy it too.

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  14. jlpfaff@comcast.net

    ok

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  15. I am so glad that you all thought this was a special object. I’d hate to be all by myself in this.

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  16. Wonderful documentation of the acquard labels and perhaps postcards woven during the early 1900s. Thank you for the story of the quilt. I have a couple of black and white jacqard woven post cards from China and France from the same period or earlier. Could send you a photo, if you like.

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