Where else do you keep your needles?
July 23, 2015 8:35 AM   Subscribe

The Avery Needle Case Resource Center is your comprehensive source for information about brass needle cases created by the W. Avery & Son company between 1868 and 1890.

Unless you've taken up collecting obscure 19th century British sewing notions, I recommend enjoying the pictures in the Master List of needlecases. Many of the needlecases are quite intricate, such as this bellows case.
posted by jedicus (9 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
A spectacular addition to my etui. Merci!
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:42 AM on July 23, 2015


A spectacular addition to my etui. Merci!

Damn it! I do so many crossword puzzles and I was SO EXCITED about the opportunity to say "etui" and now it just seems, uh, pointless.

These are very neat, thank you! It's crazy to think of needles being as precious as they used to be; I don't hand-sew much but I still have like a billion needles lying around because they're so cheap and you can just pick them up anywhere; they have them at the CVS! They give them away for free in hotels! Pfft, whatever, needles. I barely even sew! But at a point where women had to sew virtually everything their families used or wore and needles were rare and expensive, these must have been a really big deal. Thanks so much for the post!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:54 AM on July 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I still have like a billion needles lying around

This is very unsafe. Have you considered getting a special case to keep them from stabbing you at all hours?
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:30 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yisssssssssssssss.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:04 AM on July 23, 2015


But at a point where women had to sew virtually everything their families used or wore and needles were rare and expensive, these must have been a really big deal.

Strictly speaking, by the time Avery Co. was making these cases, needlemaking machines had made needles inexpensive. But the tradition of ornate needlecases goes much further back, well into the time when needles were (relatively) expensive and hand-made.
posted by jedicus at 10:48 AM on July 23, 2015


Some of the figural ones are just nuts, like the bower or the archery target. They don't look convenient to even carry around the house, much less anyone else. I assume they were marketed towards the sort of prosperous customer who had a dedicated sewing room.
posted by tavella at 12:32 PM on July 23, 2015


Really cool. I want one. I just started sewing again
posted by Oyéah at 2:05 PM on July 23, 2015


This somehow reminds of the pin-collectors in Terry Pratchett's wonderful "Going Postal".
posted by of strange foe at 2:58 PM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wm. Avery, the original neck beard.
posted by Abinadab at 4:39 PM on July 24, 2015


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