Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Mystery Revealed

Do you remember this?

my bright red pin cushion

Or more specifically this bit?

close up of the dangly bit of the pin cushion

Well I now have an explanation of what this dangly add-on to pin cushions is all about! This information comes from Chelle, who refused to leave Stitch In Time in Marrieatta until the truth was known!

Apparently once upon a time, many years ago, sewers used to coat their thread with wax. The needles would get all gunky from the wax, so the little dangly bit on the pin cushion used to be used to wipe off all the gunk by sticking the needle into it.

Back in those days the dangly bit used to be filled with scraps of embroidery thread and it did its job very well. Nowadays the dangly bits are typically filled with sand, and this is very bad for your needle/// the sand apparently will damage the needle, leaving little barbs due to the abrasive qualities of the sand, and these barbs will tear at your fabric as you sew.

So there you have it, the best thing to do with the dangly bits is to cut them off. Is it any wonder men don't feel inclined to take up sewing?


  1. Haha! ;)

    Thanks for finding that out for us all, seems a shame to chop of the dangly bit though...

  2. I didn't know about the wax and threads, but I fill mine with crushed walnut shells, which is very GOOD for your needle, and the one I had as a child had emery in it. Now, I usually don't have one, just put the walnut shells right in the pincushions I make.