cropped-detail.jpgThe first denomination of quilted currency offered by PaleGray Labs is a $1000 bill, offered at face value. Each individually numbered bill is lovingly stitched by our robot Behemoth, which labors for over eight continuous hours at up to 1500 stitches per minute. Slowed down by the many twists and turns of the design, along with thread breaks, bobbin changes, and mysterious mishaps, each bill takes about two days to stitch. Nonetheless we achieve a pattern far more complex than any commercially available quilt.

BindingThe individual bills are painstakingly bound by Nina Paley, using a hundred-year-old foot-powered treadle sewing machine. This soft and tactile bill contains over 360,000 stitches through 100% cotton fabric, lofted with quality polyester batting - the best type for this purpose, though cotton or wool can be used on request. QuiltMoney can be machine washed like any other quilt; this is known as money laundering.

The design is based on a 1934-series $1000 bill featuring the portrait of Grover Cleveland, the only US president to serve two non-consecutive terms. Hand-drawn line art by Nina Paley, which elegantly reproduces the look of the original, was mathematically processed into a single continuous line for each section of the pattern. Single-line art, a very difficult thing to achieve, is necessary for stitching, because the thread cannot be arbitrarily started and stopped.

$1K_guilloche The beautiful swirls around the border of the bill are a security feature guarantying, as they are supposed to with printed bank notes, that counterfeits can be detected. These intermingled spirals, known as Guilloche patterns, are based on multiple concentric gears, like a Spirograph with many wheels. Recreating them without the original pattern is as difficult as breaking a cryptographic code. And while printed bills can now be reproduced through digital printing, there is no method known to reverse engineer the stitching pattern used to create this bill precisely enough to avoid detection. The Guilloche patterns used in this quilt are unique to this bill and the code behind them will never be revealed, ensuring that genuine PaleGray Labs bills can always be identified.

BankVault2Additional denominations will be offered in the future, at which point a central banking service will allow owners of genuine QuiltMoney to exchange their quilts for other denominations at face value (you will pay only for shipping and handling, plus a service fee and a regulatory compliance fee to cover our legal bills, in case the US Treasury decides they have a problem with QuiltMoney). 

Each $1000 bill is 40 inches high by 90 inches wide (3’4″ x 7’6″, or 1m x 2.3m) with bound edges. A rare uncut sheet of two is 92″ square, suitable for use on a queen or king size bed. Individual bills are shipped rolled in a large-diameter tube, ensuring they arrive without any crease marks. Uncut sheets are folded in half between the bills, then rolled. Made in a pet-free (and smoke-free) environment, in spite of the adorable kitty picture. 

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