Definition of quillwork in US English:



  • A type of decoration for clothing and possessions characteristic of certain North American Indian peoples, using softened and dyed porcupine quills to make elaborate applied designs.

    ‘lovely birchbark baskets decorated with porcupine quillwork’
    • ‘For example, since the porcupine quillwork was taking much too long, they decided to use a combination of quills and beads.’
    • ‘The decoration fashioned in beads, paint, and quillwork served to summarize the common values of the wearers - generosity, honor, and bravery.’
    • ‘The costuming is wonderfully authentic, and as fine quillwork as I've ever seen done.’
    • ‘It has been over 50 years since porcupine quillwork was used as the primary decorative motif on Gwich'in jackets, slippers, and gloves.’