HNW - questions from a sewing box

Robert Romberger jestar at
Sat Mar 3 15:08:59 PST 2001

Magdalena wrote:

> The bits I don't recognize:
> 87 mm needle - long hole, sharp end, fairly thick in diameter
> (It's longer and thinner than anything else in my
> collection of comparable size)
> ?A sacking repair needle - 76 mm long and 2mm in
> diameter, huge hole, sharp end.  This looks like my
> sack needle, but it's longer and much thicker.  I've
> never seen a needle this thick before. It is stamped
> "Made in England."
> 76 mm ?needle - 2 holes, small followed by long;
> flattened rather than cylindrical, end is chiseled with
> one side more sharply angles, but is not sharp.  It is
> stamped "Made in England"
> 7 cm ?needle - 3 mm wide, completely flat, long hole,
> end is sort of like the needle above, except that it
> has a rounded side instead of the shorter angle. It is
> stamped "Made in England."

    These sound like some needles used for sewing heavy cloth (canvas and the
like) or working with leather.  Don't know for sure, just a guess as to what
they might have been used for.  I have similar needles here that are for leather
and a couple for sail repair.

> A big wooden spool of very strange thread.  The thread
> looks glazed like polished cotton.  One side of the
> spool says "The Oriental Glace`  10" and the other
> "John Dewhurst & Sons Ltd.  Color 9   1000 Skipton
> Yards."  What is this kind of thread for, and what is
> it called?

    Sounds like a version of a heavy cotton thread used for sails? or heavy
cloth work (canvas?).

> Pink metal arrow - the arrowhead end is a flat
> triangle, the middle is cylindrical, and the fletching
> end is printed "R.M.S Orion" on one side and "Orient
> Line" on the other.  Is this a souvenir from a cruise,
> a needleworking tool, or both?

    I'd take a stab and say it is a swizzle stick from a cruise.  :)

> What are mending wool and mending cotton used for?
> Socks?

    That would be my guess too.  ?

Robert "Jestar" de la Fonteyne
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