Friday, October 14, 2011


I thought I would post a bit about Needlebooks as I now have a really cute one to share.  Needlebooks, were and still are, a useful way to keep your needles handy without losing them to the floor, or the interior space of a pincushion.  Historic needlebooks of the mid 19th century came in various sizes and shapes, some with embroidery, silk ribbons, beads etc. on the cover.  There were needlebooks shaped like fish, sea shells, bellows, bells, shoes, bows, fruit, and almost anything you could concieve of.  Some were shaped more like a traditional book decorated with ribbons.  Inside the cover were leaves of wool to store the needles in.  Wool was used as it wouldn't dull the tips and it would inhibit rusting.  Some came with spaces to store a bodkin and or a stilleto, some with room for a small pair of scissors or loop for a thimble.

These first two are pictures of a needlebook that I received in a swap with a historic sewing group.  Notice the shape of a shoe and how the thimble fits nicely into the top of the shoe.  The sole of the shoe (or the bottom of the needlebook) also acts as a pin book.  It is made with two pieces of pasteboard covered with fabric and sewn together around the outer edge with a bit of wool batting inside to cushion and protect the pins.

This next one is similar to the one that I sent out for the needlebook swap.  It is made of cream colored wool with a black velvet band on the front and back cover. The little sachet on the front is silk stuffed with wool batting to act as a bit of a pin cushion while you're working.   This one is taken from an antique in the collection of Anna Worden Bauersmith. 

I am really finding these little books quite handy, and plan to keep one in most of my work spaces.  Perhaps then I'll keep from losing the needles.

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