A most legitimate use of padding is in the form of QUILTING, where it serves a useful as well as an ornamental purpose. To quilt is to stitch one cloth upon another with something soft between (or without anything between). Our word "counterpane" is derived from "contre-poinct," a corruption of the French word for back-stitch, or "quilting " stitch, as it was called.
If you merely stitch two thicknesses of stuff together in a pattern, such as that on Illustration 69 (Quilting, Done In Chain-Stitch From The Back), the stuff between the stitches has a tendency to rise : the two layers of stuff do not lie close except where they are held together . by the stitching, and a very pleasantly uneven surface results. This effect is enhanced if between the two stuffs there is a layer of something soft. If, now, you sew down the groundwork of your design with small diapering, you get a pattern in relief - more or less, according to the substance of your padding.
Another way is to pad the pattern only, as in Illustration 70 (Raised Quilting), where the padding is of soft cord.
A cunning way of padding is first to stitch the outline of the design, and then from the back to
insert the stuffing. You first pierce the stuff with a stiletto, and, having pushed in the cord, cotton, or what not, efface as far as possible the piercing: the stuffing has then not much temptation to escape from its confinement.
The Persians do most elaborate quilting on fine white linen, which they sew with yellow silk ; but the pattern is stuffed with cords of blue cotton, the colour of which just grins through the white sufficiently to cool it, and to distinguish it from the ground made creamy white by the yellow stitching.
Quilting is most often done in white upon colour, or in one colour upon white. Yellow silk on white linen (as in the quilting opposite, Illustration 69 (Quilting, Done In Chain-Stitch From The Back)) was a favourite combination, and is always a delicate one. But there is no reason why a variety of colours should not be used in a counterpane. When you stitch down the ground with coloured silk you give it, of course, a tint, besides flattening it.