As seamstresses, quilters, crafters we use pins without any thought. Always at the ready, sitting in our little magnetic dishes. Only cursing them when we find a point stuck into a calloused toe like a small cocktail sword. They are used everyday we sew and are vital to making great garments, crafts and quilts. Here are a few things about the pin that you may not know.
- A pin has three parts: a shank, the point and the head.
- The earliest pins found were from the Paleolithic sites and were made from bone and thorns.
- Ancient Egyptians used pins to hold the eyelids of the dead closed.
- Before actual garment sewing as we know it pins were used to hold clothing together.
- Bronze was the first metal used for pins prior to the Medieval period.
- Pins were used in place of buttons. The poor often could not afford buttons so pins were used in place.
- Pins were used in baby clothes and in layettes during the Middle Ages. Pins were used to shape a child’s posture. Ouch!
- Seamstresses would use pins to maintain pleats and ruffles. The less pins used the better seamstress or tailor.
- Archaeologists find pins more than needles. Needles were more expensive than pins and continued to be well past the Industrial Revolution.
- Paris made the finest pins until the Industrial Revolution, then England took the honor.
- England alone produced 100 million pins daily.
Homework: Go out and buy a magnetic pin holder. Or make yourself a lovely pincushion. Here are a few pics for inspiration.
Source: Findings by Mary C. Beaudry. Publisher: Yale University 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0-300-11093-7
Photos: Click on the photos and you will be taken to these ladies wonderful Flickr page and/or blog site.