Understanding Quilt-Specific Colors: Cheddar

Each of these color galleries represents a color given as a value for “Quilt-Specific Colors” in the Quilt Index Comprehensive Fields. Very specific “quilty” colors often reveal specific fabrics, a specific historical time period, or a particular quilting method. The quilts pictured in these galleries range from the late eighteenth century to the 1940s, and illustrate a wide variety of fabrics and techniques. Some quilts contain examples of more than one of these colors and thus appear in more than one gallery. In addition to these galleries, a good reference for learning more about quilt-specific colors is Eileen Jahnke Trestain’s book, Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide, 1800-1960.

Cheddar Orange, Antimony, or Chrome Orange
Chrome orange, or antimony, was commonly used in appliqué, especially in Pennsylvania, from about 1860 to 1880.  Thus, this dye can help to identify both the date and location in which a quilt was made.  This dye was often made in the home from store-bought powder, however, the high lead content of the dye made it (in retrospect) a dangerous substance with which to work.  While the color was called antimony or chrome orange in the nineteenth century, historians and collectors often call the color ‘cheddar’ today.

Load More