Time for prickly things! Vintage pins and needles it is, then. Sewing supplies is perhaps the category most my cherished treasures and accumulations fall under. Maybe it's because sewing is the thing that runs in the family, and as such has a special interest to me. Maybe it's because sewing supplies are such small and timeless things no one is easily inclined to get rid of them, and they tend to accumulate in large numbers.
You'll see plenty of sewing supplies in the future of this series, but I'll try to scatter these posts among other types of collections and finds so that there's still content for those less enthusiastic about buttons and such. Still, I think the design aspect of these needle packets I'm sharing today is a lot more interesting than the needles themselves, so no craft skills required for enjoying this post!
Needles from the U.S., England, Czechoslovakia and Germany. I won't even try to date these, I'm not that obsessed with google (I'm pretty obsessed with googling, but there's a limit to everything, and today I can barely keep my eyes open).
John James & Sons is still making needles. I love how their transparent wrapper was once such a rare thing it was worth mentioning it on the packet!
I arranged my needle packets for the group photo only to find some more just after I put my camera away. The above needles were hiding in another box with hooks and eyes. I've had that elephant one ever since I was a kid, I'm fairly sure my maternal grandmother gave it to me.
This De Long toilet pin packet has gone through a lot. (Does anyone know what that lone peculiar two-eye round-tipped needle is for? I just used it here to prop this persistent pin packet open, it's actually from the John James & Sons needle set you'll see later in this post.) The De Long Atlas silk pin strip in the top photo (and bottom left corner of the group photo), however, is as if no one before me even unwound it. Google didn't instantly give me a De Long Hook & Eye Company history, but I ran into this letter written by a De Long sales promotion manager during war-time metal shortage.
These John James & Sons needles came to me in this case, which is probably an original one. There's this beautiful embroidered crescent on the cover (it feels like silk to me):
This Akra needle book features a Dutch pop-up scene. Sadly the pop-up elements have gotten folded at some point. I could fix them easily, if only I got round to it! This one came to me from my paternal grandmother's stash recently. Below you can see the whole thing unfolded.
Another reason for the abundance of old sewing supplies must be that these tiny things have a tendency to get lost all the time. Replacements need to be bought even though hardly anyone ends up really needing those potentially hundreds of needles during their lifetime, unless they're an absent-minded seamstress. My pins and needles are used with such frequency they fortunately stay somewhere in the top stratum and easily found, but I can't remember how many times I've had to buy new zippers just because I couldn't find the ones I already have in my stash...