I have learned that they are not felts. They were not associated with cigars. They are cotton flannels. They were associated with cigarettes as premiums. That doesn't make me any less enamored of them. There is so much history there. The history of advertising, quilting, society, and more.
Here are some others I have not sewn together. The Germany one is interesting--remember this flag was pre-World Wars. The purple and red is Morocco.
The practice of inserting advertising in tobacco products and packaging began about 1870 and continued throughout the late 19th Century into the first decades of the 20th Century. The inserts or premiums that I find interesting are the ones that became parts of quilts. Tobacciana includes tin tobacco tags, cigarette cards, cigar ribbons, silks, and flannels. The ribbons, silks, and flannels were often collected and sewn into quilts.
These ribbons were used to tie the bundles of cigars. Often the ribbon had the tobacco company’s name imprinted on it. The ribbons came in bright colors; most commonly gold or yellow, but also blue, green, orange, purple and red. Cigar ribbons are narrow in width, usually about 3/4 inches wide. They are usually 12-15 inches long. (an example can be seen here)
Tobacco or cigarette “silks” were often made of silk or silk satin, a silk-cotton cloth blend, a cotton sateen or even a plain woven cotton. These “silks” were beautiful and printed with pictures of various themes: floral, flags, American Indian motifs, bathing beauties, animals, and more. Several came in series. One such group was the city seals which contained over 75 individual items. (examples can be seen here)
Tobacco “flannels” were actually made of a cotton flannel fabric. These too were printed with designs such as the “silks.” (examples can be seen here)
Quilt Collector and Quilt Historian