Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Old Needle Packets

Another thing I've ended up accidentally collecting is old Japanese needle packets. These usually turn up when we buy old sewing boxes and they're still full of  needles, buttons and threads. Some are sold in the shop but I usually keep a sample of different brands or unusual packets. Luckily they don't take up much space.
 Most of these first ones probably date to the early 20th century, some are older, some a little newer. The black writing is the type  or size of needle, for example, 'silk', 'tsumugi' ( a type of silk), 'small cotton',  '4-2',  '4-4'.  I'm not sure how the sizes work.

Some are held together with a little thread:
Some machine needles:
Clover  has been producing needles and other sewing accessories since the 1920's. I sell Clover needles in the shop. Here are three generations of Clover needle packets.  The oldest packet contains 25 needles, the latest only six, which probably says something about the changing place of handstitching in everyday life. It's interesting and a little sad to see how much packaging it takes now for 6 needles compared to a small piece of paper for 25. In the old packages the needles are first wrapped in a small piece of foil and then  simply folded in the paper.  (I package sashiko needles for the shop and use this method - it's easiest and most economical).
This is an old  shop display box for 'Clover top quality sewing needles' -  '1 packet 10yen,  futon needles 20 yen' :


1 comment:

  1. I also collect vintage needle packets. Besides being small, they are usually superior to any needles available today for hand stitching. I also enjoy thinking about who may have used them, and to what task they were purchased & put to work for. I love hand stitching thi gs on long car rides & such, & have just discovered the joy of tsurushi & chirimen. I have also loved little felt softies, also such fun to stitch! Anyway, I have been browsing through your blog, & have thoroughly enjoyed it! You are welcome to visit mine if you should ever have the time. (Though I am properly jealous of your time consumption.....used up going through vintage fabrics & such!) ;-D