I am a silversmith. I make and sell sterling silver thimbles and sewing tools. They come with a lifetime guarantee. I will repair or replace anything that happens to your thimble, forever. I can’t fix lost. Don’t lose your thimble.
- Jan Marie Larson
Thimbles For You
These sterling silver thimbles are as unique as their silversmith. This eclectic collection of open nail and closed top thimbles is designed for many different styles of sewists. They are both beautiful and practical for everyday use... something that you will hand down for generations.
Chatelaines came into use in England in the 17th century and were very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, but c. 1830 declined in use as fashionable jewelry and since then they have been worn for utilitarian purposes.
In the realm of stitching, quilting and needlework, there exists a humble yet valuable tool, shrouded in history and tradition: the Beeswax Thread Waxer. This unassuming companion, often overlooked, carries with it the legacy of beeswax – a natural substance that has been treasured for centuries. Craftsmen, artisans, and enthusiasts have harnessed the properties of beeswax to enhance the durability and manageability of threads in their projects. In this exploration of the Beeswax Thread Waxer, we delve into the remarkable chemistry of beeswax, the historical journey of thread waxers, the craftsmanship behind their creation, and their essential role in modern crafting.
The foundation of the Beeswax Thread Waxer effectiveness lies in the intricate composition of beeswax itself. Beeswax is a complex blend of lipids, hydrocarbons, and esters. Comprising primarily of esters, beeswax exhibits unique properties that make it an ideal candidate for thread conditioning. These esters provide a smooth and slightly sticky texture that aids in thread management.
Beeswax, is an organic byproduct of honeybees, it boasts natural preservation properties. It is, in essence, a substance that resists degradation over time. When applied to threads, it forms a protective barrier, shielding them from environmental stressors. This property not only enhances the lifespan of the thread but also preserves the integrity of the finished product.
The olfactory charm of beeswax is a delightful bonus. In its natural form, beeswax carries a subtle, sweet fragrance that can infuse a sense of serenity into the crafting process. Beeswax thread waxers, scented with various aromatic compounds, bring an additional layer of sensory satisfaction to the craft, making each stitch a sensorial journey.
The utilization of beeswax thread conditioners can be traced back to ancient civilizations. Craftsmen from Egypt to China recognized the value of beeswax in preserving their threads and ensuring the longevity of their handiwork. This age-old tradition stands as a testament to the enduring function and allure of beeswax.
The Renaissance period witnessed a resurgence of interest in crafts and artisanal work. Beeswax thread waxers experienced a revival, becoming essential tools for embroiderers, tailors, and seamstresses. The meticulous craftsmanship of these tools reflected the artistry of the era, emphasizing the importance of precision in enduring needlework.
In the modern age, the appreciation for handmade and sustainable goods has given rise to a renewed interest in beeswax thread waxers. Crafters, jewelry makers, and leather workers are rediscovering the benefits of this humble tool. As we continue to embrace the concept of slow craftsmanship and eco-conscious practices, the beeswax thread waxer finds a meaningful place in the hearts and workspaces of contemporary artisans.
Crafting a beeswax thread waxer is a labor of love that requires precision and patience. Artisans carefully shape the wax into a user-friendly form, often a compact disc or a small rectangular block. The elegance of these handcrafted tools lies not only in their functionality but in the intricate details of their design.
While commercial beeswax thread waxers are readily available, the discerning crafter may opt for a handmade waxer. Handcrafted thread waxers are unique, showcasing the artisan's skills and creativity. They often come in custom shapes, sizes, and designs, adding a personal touch to the crafting experience.
The hallmark of a well-crafted beeswax thread waxer is the artisan's touch. Each piece is a work of art, carefully molded and polished to perfection. Whether elegantly simple or intricately carved, these waxers are a testament to the human spirit of creation and dedication to the craft.
Why do you need a Thread Waxer?
The primary function of a beeswax thread waxer is to enhance the durability of threads. By running the thread through the waxer, the wax forms a protective coating around it. This coating minimizes friction, reducing wear and tear, and preventing fraying and breakage.
Knots are the bane of any crafter's existence. Beeswax thread waxers come to the rescue by smoothing out the thread and making it less prone to tangling or forming knots. This invaluable feature eases the crafting process, reducing frustration and saving time.
For those who revel in the art of stitching, a beeswax thread waxer is an indispensable ally. It ensures that each stitch glides smoothly, resulting in a seamless and professional finish. Whether you're working on a quilt, garment, or leather project, the thread waxer elevates the quality and durability of your work.
When selecting a beeswax thread waxer, consider the weight and shape that best suits your crafting needs. The weight should feel comfortable in your hand, allowing for ease of use. The shape should align with the type of projects you frequently engage in, whether it's intricate embroidery or heavy-duty leatherwork.
Modern crafting often involves revisiting traditional techniques. Beeswax thread waxers play an integral role in this revival, enabling crafters to honor the time-honored practices of their predecessors. Whether you're quilting, sewing, or creating intricate lacework, a beeswax thread waxer provides the authenticity and quality your projects deserve.
The beeswax thread waxer is not just a practical tool; it's a piece of functional art. It adds a touch of elegance to your workspace, making the crafting process even more enjoyable. Crafters appreciate not only its utility but also its visual appeal, as it becomes a small yet significant part of their creative environment.
For garment sewers and quilters, beeswax thread waxers are indispensable. They ensure that each stitch is smooth and precise, allowing for intricate patterns and designs. Whether you're embellishing clothing or creating intricate quilting background...a beeswax thread waxer is your trusted companion.
To ensure the longevity of your beeswax thread waxer, proper storage is essential. Store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and excessive heat. This will prevent melting and maintain the waxer's form and functionality.
If your beeswax thread waxer incorporates wooden elements, it's important to care for the wood as well. Regularly applying a food-grade wood conditioner or beeswax to the wooden parts will prevent drying and cracking, ensuring your waxer remains in pristine condition.
Just as you value sustainability in your crafting, apply the same principles to your beeswax thread waxer. When your waxer reaches the end of its life, consider repurposing the beeswax or recycling the materials to minimize waste and environmental impact.
In the world of crafting, the Beeswax Thread Waxer stands as a symbol of tradition, craftsmanship, and sustainability. This unassuming tool has weathered the sands of time, offering its benefits to artisans across the ages. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a budding enthusiast, the beeswax thread waxer is a piece of history that continues to enhance the artistry of your craft. Its chemistry, its history, and its role in modern crafting make it a true treasure, deserving of its place among the tools of creative expression. As you embark on your next crafting journey, consider the subtle elegance and functionality of the Beeswax Thread Waxer – a testament to the enduring legacy of "Bee's Gold"
Are you familiar with the term “chatelaine”? It might sound antiquey today, but strangely, we see vintage chatelaines more frequently than you may imagine.
During the Victorian era, when most women’s attire lacked pockets, a chatelaine was an exquisite belt clip or clasp worn at the waist. Numerous chains were hanging from each chatelaine, each holding useful goods. Examples include keys, pencils, thimbles, a tiny velvet pouch with a coin or two, watches, scissors, and other necessities.
A woman’s rank, position, or status within the home could be displayed by wearing a chatelaine in the 19th century. The “Lady of the House,” who typically held the most keys to doors, chests, and cabinets, wore an extravagant sterling silver chatelaine, while the cooks, and cleaners wore smaller pot metal or wood chatelaines for their keys.
If you plan on getting your chatelaine accessory, this blog is for you.
What is a Chatelaine
A chatelaine resembles an inside-out pocketbook that is a cross between a charm bracelet and a Swiss army knife. Chatelaines were designed to be both ornamental and useful, typically made of gold, silver, or cut steel. The nobility wore some as statement jewelry, while others were adorned with diamonds and other precious stones.
Most chatelaines are shaped like tool belts and feature a medallion at the top. Behind it is a metal tongue hovering over a woman’s waistline on top of her dress. The hook hangs from several chains, cords, or ribbons that can be used to connect a range of practical objects and amusing trinkets that represent a woman’s everyday activities and interests.
Fully customizable, a woman could connect the precise tools she needed to have nearby, including magnifying glasses, mirrors, scent flasks, salts for all that fainting, keys, whistles, small nut-shaped cases, and lucky charms. Other items that could be connected include notebooks, watches, and sewing supplies like thimbles and other sewing tools.
Types of Chatelaines
Women from all types of social strata, including nurses and ladies of the court, utilized chatelaines. Noblewomen enjoyed spending much time at home engaging in leisure activities and frequently relished the freedom from constantly returning to their apartments for necessities.
Chatelaines were largely used in the home. Therefore, women weren’t frequently photographed wearing them, so we don’t consider them an essential Georgian or Victorian accessory.
Here are some of the ways women wore this intricately carved accessory:
High Society Chatelaine
The “high society” form of chatelaine is the most prevalent one to be found online today. This is because they were constructed from high-quality, long-lasting materials and were used less frequently. These chatelaine accessories were preserved, well-maintained, and were more likely to have been handed down through families.
When spending time at home, upper-class women kept essential goods in a high society chatelaine. There were other tools and accessories like spectacle cases, little notebooks, perfume bottles, a tiny pocket for a coin handkerchief, and a vial for smelling salts attached.
Niche chatelaines will certainly excite you. In a culture that prized conformity, it allowed women to showcase their personalities.
Chatelaines designated as “hobby” or “niche” were worn to support individual interests and pursuits. You can find chatelaines for pipe smoking, dog breeding, art, needlework, and sports!
Whenever a family had domestic help, the senior woman—often referred to as the “housekeeper”—would, out of need and as a sign of prestige, dress with a chatelaine that was elaborately embellished. The chatelaine would mostly be used for the numerous keys needed to operate the household and possibly a modest number of sewing supplies.
Get Your Own Vintage Chatelaine Accessory
Jan Marie Larson’s handcrafted, heirloom-quality sterling silver chatelaines are available from Thimbles For You. You can pick the most appropriate accessory for your needs, whether small enough to store a pair of scissors or big enough to contain your entire sewing basket.
For individuals interested in creating their distinctive clothing, practicing sewing is one of the many great pleasures available to enthusiasts.
In an era where mass production and fast fashion are on the rise, aficionados who prefer creating unique ensembles are reviving the craft of hand-sewing clothing with basic tools like a traditional sewing thimble.
A thimble should seem like a natural extension of your hand and may even become a priceless sewing accessory for creating fashionable clothing by hand.
What is a Traditional Sewing Thimble
When hand sewing, it’s a good idea to use a thimble to guard your fingertips from bruising and needle-prick injuries.
Thimbles are worn on the finger to push the needle through the fabric. Most thimbles are made of metal, yet historically there were also leather caps that were fitted over your fingertip like a tiny cup. The roots of the words “thimble” and “thumb” are similar, and in fact many quilters wear a thumble on the thumb for quilting in the opposite direction.
History of Traditional Sewing Thimbles
Over 30,000 years ago, mammoth hunters sewed pearls onto pieces of leather using the earliest known thimbles. The first thimble as we know it today was created in England by a Dutch metalworker around 1695. Being worn on the thumb and having a bell-like shape at the time led to the term “thumb-bell” being used to describe it.
Thimbles were formerly used to shield the finger while it pressed a needle into leather or fabric. Since then, they have developed new myths and applications. Thimbles were employed in the 1800s to measure alcoholic beverages.
These were also used by women of the night to tap on a window or door to let someone know they were there. Thimble-knocking also describes the tactic used by Victorian schoolmistresses to discipline disruptive students by tapping their heads with thimbles.
After the 18th century, tools for making thimbles were developed. The metal’s thickness and shape changed because they were no longer manufactured by hand. Early thimbles frequently have a prominent dome on top and are extremely thick. The top of later thimbles is flatter and narrower.
Typically, traditional sewing thimbles are constructed of porcelain, glass, leather, or rubber. Early thimbles were occasionally crafted from ivory, horn, or whale bone. A few hundred years ago, it was typical for thimble artisans to embellish their creations with semi-precious stones to decorate the rim.
Many thimbles were manufactured of silver during the 19th century. But because silver is such a soft metal, a steel needle might readily pierce it. A hardening process is now used to make the silver metal 78% stronger than the old ‘dead soft’ silver that came straight from casting.
Today’s thimbles are often constructed of silicone, rubber or metal and shield sewers from tweezers and sharp needles. The traditional sewing thimbles made at Thimbles for You are heirloom quality hardened 925 solid sterling silver.
How to Choose a Thimble
Thimbles come in several varieties and are employed for various tasks. Here are some key points to note before you purchase one:
Ensure it Fits
Most thimbles are worn on your dominant hand’s middle finger. Choose a thimble that is the right size—not too tight or loose. Place it on the middle finger of your sewing hand to see if it fits both the shape and size of your finger. Your fingertip should touch the metal end of the thimble. Now, move your fingers while hanging your hand at your side. You’ve found a strong contender if it stays on and doesn’t seem tight.
Pick a Style You Fancy
Depending on your comfort, pick a material that suits your requirements. You could pick one made of leather with a protective metal cap fitted inside, a plastic thimble, or one made of metal like the sterling silver traditional sewing thimbles we make. You are looking for a thimble that feels like part of your hand, yet it is a helmet to protect you from harm.
Purchase the Best Traditional Sewing Thimbles
At Thimbles For You, Jan Marie Larson crafts heirloom-quality, durable sterling silver thimbles that can be used for all kinds of hand-sewing requirements. Purchase yours today!