Christmas tree decorations were made of
all sorts of materials. It is importaint to
understand that the vast majority of ornaments in the end of 19th century were homemade. Before glass ornaments became available worldwide, people had edible ornaments as well as decorations made of embossed paper, papier-mache, wax, gelatin, copper and spun cotton.
Today I will talk about these cotton ornaments and we will continue the topic focusing on the special spun cotton ornaments that started their new journey exactly one hundred years ago.
Spun cotton ornaments are made of simple medical cotton wool wound around a wire frame.
There's another term - Cotton Battings, when cotton batting layers are applied to a papier mache form or wrapped around a figure. Potato starch has been used as a paste. However flour and water paste was also popular. Today makers use PVA glue.
Spun cotton ornaments were coated with fine glass sprinkles for the glittery snow effect. First cotton ornaments resembled fruit and vegetables as well as human and animal figures. From surviving artifacts we know that pressed cotton ornaments were manufactured in 1870 in the Saxon Thuringian area, Germany. English and German cotton batting Christmas ornaments had lithograph cut-out faces affixed to the batting figurines of Father Frost, angels and children. Victorian spun cotton ornaments are mainly religious.