Purfylle: The Humble Thimble

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The Humble Thimble

thimbles old and new

If you do a lot of sewing you will find yourself wanting a thimble at some point. They are ever so helpful at keeping your fingers safe from all the poky sharp things.

thimble sizes

Like me, you will probably pop down to your local sewing supply store and grab a thimble multi-pack off the notions shelf.


If you're very observant with excellent eyesight you might even notice there are almost invisible numbers stamped onto the thimbles indicating they are supposedly different sizes. Myself, I failed to notice this little detail until I took these photos, and wondered why the packet of 5 didn't have a mixture of sizes. 

thimble fitting

Then it occurs to you that Nanna used to keep paper in her thimble to help it fit better. But no matter how hard you try with paper and fabric scraps it just doesn't seem to work for you. 

thimble destroyed with pliers

By this time you figure you may as well try taking the pliers to one of them and reshape it to fit better, they don't work anyway so why not? Which of course doesn't work.

You start to wonder why Nanna's thimble didn't seem to have these problems, that the metal seemed stronger and the dents to stop the needle head from slipping as you pushed with all your fingerly might to get that needle through what you thought was just some fabric pleats but is behaving like concrete actually stopped needle heads from slipping and impaling themselves into your skin.

Vintage Nanna Thimbles

And that is when it occurs to you that you went to the wrong shop to buy your thimbles. So you head down to your local antique and collectibles store and buy some Nanna thimbles that actually work.


10 comments:

  1. Fun post, and I will be willing to bet....a lot of people didn't know this! ;)

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    1. Thank you Sandy :o) Hopefully the price of vintage thimbles doesn't sky-rocket suddenly. I bought mine for $3 each and the following week they were priced at $10!

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  2. Great idea! I'll be keeping my eyes open for vintage thimbles. Thanks.

    Sue C

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  3. Wow, you can tell just by looking at the antique thimbles that they look stronger. :) I think it would be fun to collect these. I don't really use a thimble too often, but when I need one, I REALLY need one!

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    1. I've used scissors to push a needle through before. (not the good scissors) I love the idea of a collection.

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  4. Manufacturers just don't make things the way they used to! Good luck with your "new" antique Nana thimbles! Thanks for sharing at the Retro Re-Pin Party.

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    1. I just got to use it in earnest and it worked brilliantly!

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