Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vintage Thursday Thingie:Iron-on Embroidery Transfers

This is one of the most interesting and unusual iron-on transfers I have. It is for a baby quilt and includes the central embroidery pattern-a baby in its crib with a spray of flowers behind it, the feather quilting pattern, the scallop for the quilt's edge- all with written notes to tell you what part of the design you're looking at,the corner design for embroidery and a scale sketch of the quilt to help you place all the elements in the right spot! and
general directions that tell you the right size piece of fabric to cut and even where to draw guide lines on your fabric to help you place the elements....all printed in iron-on ink even though only the embroidery patterns will actually get transferred!

Did you know that iron-on transfers have been around since 1874? They were developed by Briggs and Co. in England and brought to the US two years later for the Philadelphia Centennial...and they were a big hit. Before that, perforated patterns were used with either a powder or a paste to mark the cloth and were pretty messy. Soon iron-on transfers were being offered by a lot of different companies...if the ad said "Warm Iron"- the Briggs Co. slogan-then you knew you were getting the real deal!

My transfers are from the 1930s-40s....wish I had some early Briggs transfers! You can see some scans of Briggs transfers here.

For more vintage treasures...hop right on over to Coloradolady-our hostess for all the fun!


20 comments:

Tara Beaulieu said...

So interesting! I never would have guessed iron-ons had been around for so long. And such a pretty pattern too- I can just imagine the hours spent making this as a gift for someone- talk about creating a future heirloom piece! Wow! Thanks for sharing :)

Postcardy said...

I didn't know iron on transfers had been around that long either. That is a nice design for a baby.

Queenmothermamaw said...

I did not know the iron-ons went back that far either. This was a great post. Nice to look at and something to learn. Blessings
QMM

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

What fun! How interesting that the transfers have been around for so long.

Jocelyn
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

very interesting info on iron-ons. never seen one but am sure they are very pretty, just like the one you shared in here.. thanks for sharing and have a good weekend Miri!

jan said...

I love the baby quilt transfer! I have seen a similar one, with all the directions, but not a baby in a cradle. It is very cute!

CC said...

Ohhh Miri,
It's such a wonderful pattern..and I love it. I simply love the earlier transfers..and wish that everyone could share. So many of the old patterns are kept safely tucked away and forgotten..and so they're lost to this generation. Thank you for sharing this sweet pattern..
Happy VTT...

Roslyn said...

I remember using those Miri and embroidering them!
Don't have the patience for it any more.

Ulla said...

This was interesting! My old pattern folders from 1910 to 1940's all need copying paper or the perforated method, but I have seen old iron-ons too. I hope the text parts really don't copy!

malkah said...

educational and entertaining -- edutaining? i learned a lot. thank you.

LV said...

I am very familiar with iron-on patterns. That was all we had for many years. Thanks for a great memory.

Ann said...

Thats about the most intricate one I've seen. I can imagine how much time and work it would take. Will you use it?
Happy VTT
Ann

Anna Matthews said...

Wow - I had no idea iron on transfers were around nearly that long. What a great post.

Sherrie said...

Thank you for sharing such an interesting tidbit of embroidery history. I always find such things interesting. Thanks.

Jen said...

I remember my mom collecting iron on transfers, but had no idea they had been around that long. Thanks for sharing!

Charlotte said...

You have just jogged a memory of my mother embroidering a birth announcement for me when I was born! I'm going to ask her about it later today. I can't remember if she had already given it to me and if it was lost in the house fire in 1986.

viridian said...

Miri:
this is great! And thanks for including the link to the 1800's transfers. So interesting!!

Serendipity Handmade said...

I love vintage transfers -- I have a ton of them. Many of mine are already cut apart. Yours looks like a Workbasket pattern? I have similar and that's my guess as to their origin. If you could write me back and let me know where the transfer is from (if you know) I'd appreciate it!

Happy VTT!

http://serendipityhandmade.blogspot.com/search/label/vtt

GardenofDaisies said...

What a sweet little baby quilt iron on transfer ! I did not know that transfers were that old.

Coloradolady said...

Great information! Nothing like learning something new! Love the pattern, so cute!