Online Encyclopedia

QUILT

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 751 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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QUILT, properly a coverlet for a bed, consisting of a mass of feathers, down, wool or other soft substance, surrounded by an outer covering of linen, cloth, or other material. In its earlier uses the " quilt " was made thick, and served as a form of mattress. The term was also given to a stitched wadded lining for body armour, and also, when made stout and closely padded, to a substitute for armour. The word came into English from 0. Fr. coilte, coilte, or coute, mod. couette. This is derived from Lat. culcita or culcitra, a stuffed mattress or cushion. From the form culcitra came O. Fr. cotre or coutre, whence coutre pointe, Low Lat. culcita puncta, i.e. stitched or quilted cushion; this was corrupted to contre pointe, Eng. counterpoint, which in turn was changed to " counterpane " (as if from Lat. pannus, piece of cloth). Thus " counterpane," a coverlet for a bed, and " quilt," are by origin the same word.
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