Monday, 28 September 2009

Pincushion-in-the-box

Pins and needles are precious - especially if you are buying hand-made pins and needles. So you should have a place for safe keeping of these fine, pricey helpers, and best if that is also convenient to use.


This pincushion-in-the-box was designed for safe keeping and carrying around of pins, combining a box for protection with the convenience and ease-of-use of a pincushion. The cushion itself is sewn from linen, tightly filled with wood shavings to give a pleasant, firm and long-lived cushion, and covered with wool cloth. It sits in the lid of a round wooden box, pleasantly weighted by a hefty sheet of copper between cushion and lid that will not only keep it from sliding around on your table too easily but also prevent the pins from accidentally piercing through the thin layer of wood. The rest of the box goes on as a lid, keeping the pins from dust, dirt, childrens' fingers or other harmful things. For use, simply take off the cover and place the cushion on your table or on the cover turned upside down.


This pincushion is a joy to have for everybody who likes to use pincushions and does textile work in more places than the home sewing spot. Packing a pincushion can't be easier - put on the cover and throw in with the rest of tools and supplies.

Cushion is hand-made and hand-sewn. Woolen cover cloth in several colours, your own material can be used on request. Materials used were available in the middle ages, except the glue fixing the cushion into the box lid; authentic glue can be used on request. The box is a modern machine-made one, glued from rather thin wood slivers, so it is not strictly authentic (for a better authentic look, hide the cover once it's taken off and only display the cushion). Each one is a little different, so if you want something especially high (filling all the box) or low (allowing to keep an occasional needle in the closed box), just contact me.

How medieval is a pin-cushion itself? That is a hard question. On the few illustrations that I have found showing sewing people or tailors, I could not find any pin-cushions. This can be because there were none in the Middle Ages or they were seen as so commonplace or so unimportant that they were not shown. Personally, I would suspect that making something pin-cushion-like for keeping pins handy yet safe should be a quite old concept. And I have never been asked that question while using the pin-cushion, it's just such an ordinary tool for the sewing table.

4 comments:

Marije said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marije said...

Great idea, thank you for sharing it!

cathyr19355 said...

This webpage claims that pincushions go back to Tudor times:
http://www.geocities.com/heartland/lake/2812/bcpincushion.html


Sorry I don't have anything more scholarly on the issue!

a stitch in time said...

Thanks for the comments - and Cathy, never mind it's not scholarly, it is still nice to know : )

I'm hoping to find some more about pincushions in one of the books that are on my "to be read" list, once I find the time. Which seems to be quite scarce at the moment.