No, that’s not French for the wee things you stick on babies’ feet, they’re quilts. Did you know the Provencale have been at this since the 15th Century? As far back as 1426 there was a quilt found in the house inventory at the Chateau Des Baux.
You know those rather special quilted jackets one sees at shows? Well they got in there first on that one too, making skirts and papooses from them between the 15th and 17th Centuries – thankfully they let them die out there ;o)
In 1680 there were 5-6,000 women making over 40,000 quilts by hand in a year which were exported all over Europe – bet they had sore hands! In 1720 a plague epidemic had a rather catastrophic effect on the workforce, and the skill declined, but they’ve had a revival in more recent years with wholecloth white quilts appeared on wedding beds and others appearing in more colourful fabrics. Here’s the one that was on my bed in the gite, albeit a mass produced one!
They seem very fond these days of scalloped edges, so I guess those wavy edges are hardly a ‘modern’ thing either. I have to say though, it did seem to be little old ladies that were most keen on pawing over them in the shops, followed by the American tourists, so maybe some will be finding new homes across the Atlantic.