For those of us who are approaching winter, there are some moments
when we may wish to start a large puzzle, work on a craft or read a
book with deeper meaning. After all, the media ‘invented’ the idea of
Summer Books, which always seem like “Beach Books.” They consist
of fun reads, some adventures or romance but generally not expected
to make it into the Classic books area of the library.
While gathering things, somewhat ‘ahead of time,’ preparing for my
Thanksgiving trip to see my Mom and family up North, I put a box of
old wooden spools of thread into a bag. Or rather ones that used to
have thread on them. I added one of my books from the discards
pile at the May Library Book Sale, in coordination with the Delaware
Arts Festival, thinking that I may get a chance over the four days “on
holiday” to bury my nose in a book. The spools will go to my brother’s
future artistic projects. He utilized another set of these antique
wooden spools in a colorful multi-media project, finishing it with
a shiny paint spattered glaze over it. I love the circular shapes within
the circle of his shimmering presentation of what I would describe
as the “cosmos.”
While talking about thread, I don’t wish to go on too many tangents.
Do you remember when we would say, “Nice threads?” Sometimes,
I remember saying this to someone with a tie-dyed shirt or a pretty
patch-worked maxi-skirt. Was it applicable only to certain kinds
of clothes or anyone who we may have thought looked “nice?”
Interesting, since we also use the word “threadbare” clothes, for
those which may be considered ‘raggedy’ or worn out. These are
‘bones of contention’ sometimes, when a spouse may wish to keep
a favorite, softened by time item of clothing. The other spouse
may wish to throw it in the ‘rags’ heap.
Now that I am getting older, I sometimes have to close one of
my eyes to “thread” a needle. I also recently purchased a package
of needles that remind me of the Large Print Books’ section where
I tend to get some of my ‘reading for pleasure’ books. Rarely do I
find ‘classics’ in this area. I pondered this once, “Do they think
that while I am losing my eyesight, I am becoming ‘dimmer’ in
my brain cells, too?” In this same vein, my “threads” of thoughts
can become quite twisted or knotted up, needing someone to
help unravel them.
When a spider creates his web, the intricate woven pattern looks
like snowflakes at times. Sometimes, I think of it as gossamer
“thread” and am amazed at how strong its hold is. Especially,
when in someone’s attic, as it catches in your hair. It is definitely
sticky, which makes sense to catch the bugs or flies for the spider’s
While the use of ‘threading in and out’ is less often used than the
expression of ‘weaving in and out,’ I have heard this used.
Can you think of other ways the word, “thread” is used?
I especially admire the Native Americans who used almost every
part of an animal, one way or another. Using creatures’ sinew
to sew with a needle created from its bone is surely a testament
of their creative and utilitarian minds. I cannot imagine trying
to poke through the fur or animal hide to create clothes and
jackets. It would have been easier to just throw the fur over their
shoulders like a blanket or poncho. That is how I picture my
way of ‘roughing it.’ The daunting task of creating homes out
of materials from the natural world is incredible to me also.
I have 15 different wooden spool brand names with the prices
varying from 15 cents to a quarter. I studied and grouped them,
even noticing the colors or as they are labeled, “shades” can be
over 1000 in their number. The variety intrigued me, as I hope
or felt it may a few of my readers. All of the 15 brands are made
in America. I would be interested if anyone in another country
would tell me where their thread in their sewing basket or junk
drawer was made.
When you ‘whet’ someone’s interest in a subject, you don’t
wish to leave them “hanging by a thread,” so here is my list:
1. Clark’s brand.
This is interesting because it was originally on its own, but you will
see a spool with two brands who must have become connected. On
this post, I decided would be presenting what I have, not what I
looked up on the internet. I did not research any of these companies.
Details on the Clark’s wooden spool include, “Cotton” and “O.N.T.”
and the “shade” number of 278 on one of several of these. The “Size
50” is on this brand.
2. “Belding Corticelli” brand.
The words are not together, but circle the spool, some on the
‘top’ and some on the ‘bottom.’
and the expression, “Fast to Boiling.”
Several of this brand, with the price range given of 15 cents, 19 cents
and 25 cents.
The shades are stamped into the wood, ink pressed to show “1707”
on one, for example. The “Size 50” is also on this brand. All of these
gave the length of “125 yds.” of thread.
3. “Sea Island Thread Mfg. Corp.”
The words, “None Better” are stamped into the wood on one end.
The length on this bigger sized spool is “700 yds.” It is labeled,
“Mercerized Cotton.” (Unlike the other spool where the words
were separated and not contiguous.) This is mentioned to be,
“Made in New York.”
4. “Standard- Coosa-Thatcher Company” is also labeled on
the other end of the spool as “S-C-T”
There is no marking of its shade, color, or length but I am
happy to tell you this was made in “Chattanooga, Tenn.”
5. “Richardson’s .”
“Mercerized Sewing Cotton,”
“Fast to Boiling.”
This singular spool has the word, “Shade 1788,” on it.
6. “Fruit of the Loom.”
“Mercerized” (no mention of cotton on label.)
*Would we today call this ‘color fast?’*
7. “Dandy” brand.
This label is the only one which presents a blend of,
“Cotton and Polyester”
Made in U.S.A. is stamped into the wooden spool’s end.
“Mercerized” is again not connected with the source of
the thread’s ‘material.’
*Doesn’t this fascinate you? How can one expression, “Fast
to Boiling,” be attributed to one kind and then, this shorter
one be given?*
There are two facts about the “Dandy” brand which are not
included on any other of my spools, “Left Twist” and “Two
Cord- 1200 yards.” This is a longer/taller wooden spool.
8. “Ball’s Best” brand.
This was made in South Willington, Connecticut.
(24) May be “shade” number?
Gardiner Hall Jr. Company.
*(Was this meant to be used on soles of socks or shoes?)*
9. “Coats” brand.
“Super Sheen With Silicone” on a shiny paper circle on top.
Shades are “169” “70” and “57-A”
On the bottom of the spool, where there isn’t any shiny label,
stamped into the wood is: “J + P Coats.”
10. “Lily” brand.
Cotton boll symbol on the paper label.
“Boil – Fast”
11. “Radium” brand.
12. “Aunt Lydia’s” brand,
“American Thread Co.”
“Button & Carpet”
“Extra Strong + Smooth”
13. “Empeco” brand.
“Manufactured by Max Pollack Co. Inc.”
Made in “Mills Groton, CONN”
14. “Coats + Clarks”
(At last, we have both companies joined together.)
Time has gone past, since this big spool is labeled
to cost, “39 cents” and has details, such as:
“Made in U.S.A”
Color or shade is “86-B”
15. “Talon” brand.
“Made in U.S.A.”
“Colorfast” (at last!)*
15. “Star” brand.
“American Thread Co.”
(An area code is given, but is faded. Possibly 06905 or 08905?)
Three different spools have these color numbers:
“484” “553” and “020”
The three have varying length of thread:
“40 yds.” “125 yds.” and “150 yds.”
I enjoy learning about the crafts and hobbies of fellow bloggers.
Do you tend to carry out the same kinds of activities or do you
change them, as the season changes?
This post began with my getting out some things to go visiting;
along with sorting out the spools from my crowded sewing basket.
I accomplished the chore of cleaning up and writing this post about
‘threads’ due to those wooden spools. My little grandchildren used
to play stacking games with them, as if they were uniquely shaped
building blocks. Remembering their tall towers of spools make me
smile. Then, the giggles of when they all came tumbling down.
I imagine children in the past doing this playful use of spools, too.