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       Filigree or "quilling" is a technique in which narrow paper strips are rolled up into spirals or rolls, and put together afterwards. By combining the obtained forms, you will be able to create the most diverse designs.


       Although the origin of filigree is not known, some think it started in China just after the invention of paper, during the Tang Dynasty (618-906 BC). Other sources argue that filigree was already practiced in ancient Egypt. One thing is certain, it has a rich history and has existed for centuries! The popularity of filigree varies greatly from period to period. In Europe, during the 12th century, filigree of wood and parchment strips with gilded edges were made in the decorations of churches and monasteries. French and Italian nuns also used the technique in the 16th and 17th century. They decorated all kinds of sacred images and relics with it. They used the torn edges of bibles and goose feathers. The use of goose feathers as tools gave rise to the English term "quilling". The nuns, and later also monks, often used paper because it was much cheaper than metals such as gold and silver. Initially the paper was imported from Arabia but later it was homemade in large quantities. Most of ll  mainly poor churches used rolled-up paper strips to decorate sacred images. These paper strips were gilded or silver plated and could hardly be distinguished from real gold or silver.
Around 1700 the technique was also very popular in England and Scotland.
By the end of the 18th century lessons given were given and they used needles as tools.

        Schools advertised with their filigree lessons. After 1850, the popularity of filigree in Europe decreased. Settlers took the filigree technique to North America. At the end of the 19th century there was an attempt to breathe new life into the use of filigree in Europe, especially in England; But without any success. Filigree was never a hobby for workers' wives. However, it was a popular hobby among the ladies in the higher classes. It was used to decorate screens, cabinets, frames, wine setters, work baskets, boxes, urns and even furniture during that time. In the Netherlands, gold and silver filigree are often found in the jewelry matching the various costumes.
In the eighties of the last century the paper filigree technique came from America and the interest in this hobby increased enormously. This technique is suitable for young and old. Many people still find rolling with strips of paper an inspiring and soothing pastime.
a quill: hollow horny shaft at the bottom of the feather

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