Quilling, or the art of Paper Filigree is a highly decorative and versatile craft. Its origins are not altogether clear, but can be traced back to the 15th century, when it was used extensively for the decoration of religious screens and panels.
The term “quilling” is thought to derive from the use of bird feathers as tools to coil or scroll the paper strips.
Coiling or scrolling of paper was used to imitate the highly ornate designs of gold filigree decorations which could be found in churches and the homes of the wealthy.
Through the years the popularity of the craft has fluctuated. At one time it was the strict preserve of the “well to do” and considered to be an excellent distraction for “Ladies of Leisure”.
The craft has experienced a revival in recent years, and has many advantages over other crafts as it does not require any expensive tools or equipment, and has a wide appeal amongst people of all ages.
Most recently the popularity of card making and scrapbooking has seen renewed interest in quilling as an excellent way of producing personalised embellishments at a fraction of the cost of mass produced items. A great variety of designs can be made by learning just a few basic shapes.
Coiling of paper strips is made easier by the use of special tools. There are two types of tools available, the split tool and the needle tool.