Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Itomaki bobbins

One of the things I enjoy about this blog is the opportunity to bring pieces from my collection out of their boxes and drawers to look at again and share.  Most of the bobbins I'm showing today have been collected over the years from old sewing boxes that we've bought to sell in the shop. I always love opening them to see what little treasures have been left - pins and needles, threads, thimbles, buttons, hasami scissors and less obvious things like old combs, make-up and medicines.  The variety and character of the old bobbins makes them irresistible. This is only a sample of  the ones that have turned up -  I keep one little drawerful just to look at and enjoy and another that I use for my own sewing threads.  They add something a bit special that you don't get from a piece of cardboard.

Most of the bobbins are plain wood but come in a variety of shapes, sizes and grains:

Sometimes the wood has been carved, branded or stamped:

And at least one has  been stamped and then doodled on...

Others have been handpainted:

These ones have been lacquered:

Here are a few plastic and  promotional ones:

And here are a few others - some made from paper and  some from a kind of raffia-like fibre (I'm sure there is a name for this parquet type work  but I can't think of it) :

This time of the year always gets a little hectic so I'm having trouble sticking to my plan  to post on here every week  - but I will do so as often as I get the chance.


  1. Ha

    I also collect Itomaki of this kind.
    I am french, live in Paris and travel very regularly to Japan, where I collect these small itomaki, women's everyday's life.


  2. Fantastic! It's nice to meet another collector. I wonder if you collect anything other than itomaki on your trips to Japan.
    Thanks for posting.