Deedle&Thread

Sewing, Beading, Inspiration and More.

A Sewing Thimble Collection from Around the World

  • Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

    Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

  • Cloisonne enamel and gold from China

    Cloisonne enamel and gold from China

  • Metal work from India

    Metal work from India

  • Wooden thimble from Bali, Indonesia

    Wooden thimble from Bali, Indonesia

  • Engraved thimble from Thailand

    Engraved thimble from Thailand

  • Painted Porcelain thimble form China

    Painted Porcelain thimble form China

  • Seattle skyline thimble

    Seattle skyline thimble

  • San Francisco, CA, 'Golden Gate, Victorians, Cable Cars'

    San Francisco, CA, 'Golden Gate, Victorians, Cable Cars'

  • Porcelain Oregon thimble

    Porcelain Oregon thimble

  • Sterling silver thimble from Japan

    Sterling silver thimble from Japan

  • Yeoman Warder, Tower of London

    Yeoman Warder, Tower of London

  • Inherited & engraved grandmother's aunt 'Edith' thimble

    Inherited & engraved grandmother's aunt 'Edith' thimble

  • San Diego Zoo, CA

    San Diego Zoo, CA

  • Provence & Limoges, France

    Provence & Limoges, France

  • Thimbles from Santa Monica, CA

    Thimbles from Santa Monica, CA

  • Abalone & Mother of Pearl from Hawaii

    Abalone & Mother of Pearl from Hawaii

  • Cloisonne thimble from Granada, Spain

    Cloisonne thimble from Granada, Spain

  • Inherited Pewter thimble, origin unknown

    Inherited Pewter thimble, origin unknown

  • Antique sterling silver & marcasite cherub/stars/clouds

    Antique sterling silver & marcasite cherub/stars/clouds

  • Pewter thimble, Tower of London

    Pewter thimble, Tower of London

  • Coral, enamel & abalone from Puerta Vallarta, Mexico

    Coral, enamel & abalone from Puerta Vallarta, Mexico

  • Native American sterling silver from New Mexico

    Native American sterling silver from New Mexico

  • Pewter/Glass Air Space Museum San Diego, CA

    Pewter/Glass Air Space Museum San Diego, CA

  • Porcelain thimble from Colorado

    Porcelain thimble from Colorado

  • Porcelain thimble from Windsor Castle, England

    Porcelain thimble from Windsor Castle, England

No garment posts today, but I do have a sewing related slideshow for you.  (If you don’t see the slideshow on your phone, click HERE). This post is a quick look at my sewing thimble collection.  You aren’t yawning right now are you? Give it a try. It may not be one of the most exciting posts you’ve ever read.  Some of you, however, may find the uniqueness of the thimbles and some history to be pretty cool!  I thought so. Happy to share….

Arizona Cacti: 'Barrel Cactus, Saguaro, Prickly Pear'

Arizona Cacti: ‘Barrel Cactus, Saguaro, Prickly Pear’

Above is on of my less expensive yet kitchy thimbles. I had to have one from Arizona.

If you are a sewist, then you have probably done a little hand sewing to fasten a button to a shirt or hemmed a skirt.  It only takes once to have the back end of a needle pierce your finger to have you rummaging around to find a thimble.  Pushing the needle through a thick fabrics can cause some serious fingertip pain.

Known as a “thumb shield”, sewing thimbles date back 2500 years ago and found in the ruins in Pompeii, Rome.  The first thimbles were  made out of bone and leather and were present in every culture.  My thimbles are not that old!  My oldest thimble is the gold ‘Edith’ that I calculate may be about 100 years old.  It belonged to my maternal grandmother’s aunt.  Now, that’s pretty special. I have a mixed assortment made out of silver and gold metals, wood, and porcelain.  Thanks to my mom and her many travels, many of these little treasure are representative of countries around the world.

Sewing Thimble from the Imperial Museum

‘Make Do and Mend’ Sewing Thimble from the Imperial Museum, London, England

Above is a porcelain thimble that states “Make Do and Mend” which was a popular slogan after World War II.  Great efforts were made to salvage, remake, repair and conserve textiles and clothing during this time.  Here is more to read about the Make Do and Mend time period.

According to this article I am called a digitabulist.  There is more to read about sewing thimble history here. and here.
Here is another site that provides a great look at antique and vintage sewing thimbles.  Check out Pinterest and Ebay if you want to see more or start your own collection.

Puppy in a thimble ornament

Puppy in a thimble ornament

Here is a Christmas ornament that was given to me as a gift…a pup in a thimble.

See the tail?

See the tail?

Sterling silver bird pincushion

Sterling silver bird pincushion

This little bird pincushion keeps company with the thimbles.  It is carved sterling silver with a velvet pincushion back.  Little bird is big on the cute factor, but little on functionality.

In this recent societal effort to pare down and minimize our ‘stuff’, acquiring a collection of sewing related items doesn’t seem to be a popular idea.  I’m not hoarder; I’m a collector with my thimbles out on display……

sewing-meme

Thimbles in view

Thimbles in view

My thimbles hang on the wall in this great mirrored glass and wood display frame on my sewing room wall.  I don’t use any of these for my hand sewing – I use the ugly cheap one from JoAnn’s!

Do you have a sewing paraphernalia collection of some kind?   How about miniature sewing machines perhaps or scissors of all types?  Leave a comment.  I’d love to hear about it.

-Dana

2 Comments

  1. Rachel

    That’s quite an impressive collection! That India one! Wow! I never thought thimbles could be so ornate. Thanks for sharing!

    I guess the only thing I collect sewing-wise is fabric! I try to buy at least one piece of fabric on every international vacation. 🙂

    Reply
    • Dana

      Hey Rachel – Even though I think my collection is pretty cool, there are some amazing thimbles out in world-wide-web! I can get behind the international fabric-collecting idea, too. Now that my passport is current and ready to go, watch out. I can add to my already-extensive stash.

      Reply

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