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Searching for Antique and Vintage Lace Bobbins, Needles, Linen Thread, Sewing Chests, Sewing Machines, Pattern Books, Seamstress Tools, and Sewing Ephemera is probably the most intellectually stimulating and historic part of reseaching Antique Lace, Clothing, and Textiles. In my collection, some tools are nearly 200 years old and have been passed down from generation to generation. They have been well cared for and are, usually, made from the finest metals, bone, and wood. Each and every tool holds the history of a wonderful, usually female, artist in the cottage industry art of lace-making and seamstress work.

A Cloth Pattern for Battenburg Tape Lace, in the process of being made, with a Victorian Bone tool (above).

Classic Victorian Hook and Eye Steel Fasteners most often used by seamstresses of the time; brass or stainless steel composition (below).

Also, new to the Museum, that will be newly exhibited on April 15, 2017, is a rare and extraordinary set of six (6) LACE MAKING PILLOWS I recently purchased in London, UK!!  

Three Bobbin Lace Pillows, early 20th century, applied with 82 plain bone bobbins, with attached panel of Torchon Lace; another with 14 bobbins and panel of Tapelace; the third with approx 30 bobbins with note,”belonged to Mrs Beach of Buxted, aged 101 whose unfinished work is still on the pillow;” together with a quantity of threads, prickings and box on bobbin lace. Another three (3) Bobbin Lace Pillows, early 20th century, will be displayed with a quantity of mainly plain turned Bone and Wood Bobbins, Prickings and Threads (below).

Antique Sewing Needles, Pins, Hooks & Eyes, were made of the finest steel and brass (often with glass heads) available at the time. They were strong, rust-resistent, and meant to last for many generations. The Parabola Millinery Needles are one of my favorite English-made needles (above).

The Lace Museum displays sewing machines, between years 1850 and 1950, such as this Willcox and Gibbs - a Hand-Crank and Bobbin-less Chain Stitch Machine. James Edward Allen Gibbs, patented the first practical and workable chain-stitch single-thread sewing machine on June 2, 1857. To this day, over 150 years old and this machine still works! (above). 

   Cloth (Chintz) Battenburg Scarf Pattern, Edwardian Era (right).

Belgian - Battenburg Tape Lace Collar/Bertha made on a Cloth (Chintz) Pattern, probably circa 1890-1900 (left).