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The History & Process of Quilling

Quilling is the art of rolled, shaped, and glued paper that results in creating a unified, decorative design. The name quilling is thought to come from the origin of the art; birds’ feathers, or quills, were used to coil the strips of paper around.

The art of quilling has been around for centuries, with a remarkably varied historical background spanning across continents. Quilling has persevered through time, most notably making its mark throughout the Western world. During the Renaissance, nuns and monks would roll gold-gilded paper trimmed from books to adorn religious objects, mimicking costly gold filigree. In later years, quilling continued to be practiced throughout Europe as it caught on as a leisurely activity for affluent women. They would adorn objects such as picture frames, baskets, and jewelry boxes.

Today, quilling is resurfacing again as a more accessible, affordable hobby for people of every age and background.

 The Process

People practicing quilling today are afforded many options for tools and an array of different weight, quality, and thickness of paper. Each card in the Quilling Card Company line is handmade by skilled artisans and starts with a preliminary drawing of what the card will be. Using a slotted needle tool, laser-cut strips of kishu paper (a high-quality, Japanese paper) are "thread" through the tool and wrapped around it to create a tight coil. Each shape that makes up a card begins as a tight coil. From there, the coil is relaxed and molded with fingers or tweezers until the desired shape is attained, and is then glued down onto the card. This process is repeated again and again, until the quiller has layered on the entirety of the final design.