2 Aug 2013

Treasures from the found sewing box!

A few weeks ago we've found an old sewing box on the street. In the meantime I had the chance to take pictures of the contents. I listed a couple of interesting items below:

Stocking darning kit
The little piece of cardboard contains two colors of really thin, but strong, silky thread: one pinkish 'flesh' color and one more brownish shade. This might be the oldest thing in the sewing box, since nylon stockings were almost exclusively worn from the 1950's on. Thicker nylon stockings of the early days could be repaired by picking up the stitches with a thin crochet hook, but nylon was just too weak to be mend over and over again.

CARP thread on wooden spools
We don't use wooden spools anymore, it's all plastic now. 'Carp' was the name of a dutch textile industrialist in the south of the Netherlands between 1900 and 1969. In 1938 the fabrics were bought by the Scottisch J&P coats from Glasgow. They lost the business in the 1960's when cheap work of the low fair countries came up. The wooden spoons are made carefully, the edges are smoothly rounded.

Nickel silver purse frame with handle
It is marked as 'alpacca' - a metal alloy of copper with nickel and zink. It has a silvery metallic color although it doesn't contains silver. Was popular to use to make coins, parts of musical instruments. Nickel silver was first known and used in China. In 1823 a German competition was held to perfect the production process: the goal was to develop an alloy that possessed the closest visual similarity to silver. The brothers Henniger in Berlin and Ernst August Geitner in Schneeberg independently achieved this goal. The manufacturer Berndorf named the trademark brand 'Alpacca', which became widely known in northern Europe for nickel silver.

Old metal cigar boxes
A collection of mending wool for socks was kept in cigar boxes. The metallic boxes are from the dutch make 'Willem II' founded in 1916. In 1977 the fabric was taken over by the Consolidated Cigar Company and by the end of the 1980's the Swedish Match.

This one was produced between 1930-1970:

This one was produced between 1920-1970:

As an extra, a family piece from my own great-grandmother:
Wooden sock darning tool
This wasn't part of the sewing box, but I've got it from my grandma. It was her mother's, like my old Singer sewing machine. A well-used little thing with a lot of fine scratches from frequent use. You often see egg-shaped and sometimes mushroom-shaped darning tools which were used for mending wool socks and stockings. Of course, nowadays we throw away our used socks and buy new ones, but it wasn't the case in the first half of the 20th century when socks were handmade of wool and one owned a limited amount of pairs. They even sold mending wool for socks in the same colors for this purpose (There were a couple of those in my found sewing box too...pic below)

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