Thursday, January 5, 2017
Embossed Wooden Thread Spools
Maybe some of you are like me and love vintage sewing notions and supplies. Whenever I see old wooden spools of thread at a good price I buy them. Sometimes the thread is too old and fragile to use, in which case it sits on a shelf and looks pretty. Other times the thread is just too beautiful to use and sit on the shelf with the fragile thread. Sometimes I use the old thread, especially if it's strong and a color I need.
But this post isn't about the thread. The person who writes the blog Scrapiana published a post a few days ago asking several questions about American embossed thread spools. One of her questions was whether most were for silk or if cotton thread was also sold on embossed spools. I found that my eight silk spools were all embossed (though that doesn't necessarily indicate that paper labels were not used for silk).
The spools of silk thread I have were made by Belding Hemingway Co., Hemingway & Bartlett (Paragon), Thresher's, Clark's, and Belding Corticelli Richardson. Some have 50 yards, others 75 or 100 yards. None of the spools has the price embossed on them.
My favorite silk spool, a Belding Corticelli, recommends I sew with silk. Silk is certainly smooth and sews easily but it isn't good for all situations. Another spool claims the silk is boilfast. Perhaps that indicates the color will not fade with boiling but I don't know how silk stands up to water or the heat of boiling.
When I looked at my cotton spools I found that most of them had paper labels, but some were also embossed. The small ones, with 100 or 125 yards, were made be Trusew, Belding Corticelli, and Belding Corticelli Richardson companies. One was priced at 15¢ and another at 19¢. Not all spools had embossed prices.
Every large embossed spool of cotton thread I have is embossed with "Belding Corticelli." The spools have 275 yards or 600 yards. The spools with 275 yards cost 25¢, 30¢, 40¢, 45¢, and 55¢. The last has a paper label attached to the end which covers an embossed price of 45¢.
I have no dates for any of these spools but a search of old newspapers for advertisements for sewing notions could possibly reveal the price of thread which could thereby date some of spools with prices embossed on the ends.
To answer Scrapiana's question about whether embossing was reserved mainly for silk spools, I'd have to say no -- at least my own collection doesn't indicate that.
Do you collect old spools? If they have thread on them, do you use it? What other sewing notions do you collect?