Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wooden Spools

September is National Sewing Month and Coats & Clark is also celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. To celebrate, I am sharing a few photos of my wooden spool collection.  Most are Coats, but there are a few other manufacturers as well, e.g. Peerless.
The photo above is one our family’s toy sewing machines (and of course loaded with a spool of Coats). The machine was made in Germany.  This machine belonged to my dad’s sister in the 1940s.  I found out is was a toy because my sister recently saw the Threading the Needle Exhibit at the San Francisco Airport which featured sewing machines through the ages and there was some information about that type of machine.  Here are a few of her photos from the exhibit (taken on a phone).
You can see more photos from the exhibit here.
I am also sharing a Coats & Clark advertisement that I picked up in Chinatown years ago. I love this particular graphic.
A little closer.
and finally look at this wee toy machine my pal found in her basement. It used to wind up, but the mechanism no longer works. It says Galoob on the front and Japan on the back.  So adorable, I am on the hunt for one.  Maybe you remember them?
Have a great day!
(PS thank you for the kind comments regarding the quality of the photos in my last post –  I have upgraded my camera and working really hard to take better photos.}


  1. It's funny that people don't appreciate what they have 'til it's those wooden spools of cotton. I grew up using them and my mum used them of course..and we just threw them away when they were empty, never thinking of keeping them.

  2. Wow! What an amazing collection you have KJ! And there are so many creative ideas on the web how to use the spools after the thread ends it is simply amazing!
    I also admire your tiny sewing machine (and the pictures from the exhibit too). I must say that I am a proud owner of an ancient Singer machine (resembling your little one) but since I don't use it, it is safely put aside in the basement, hoping to see the light of day when I find the place for it!

  3. Your spool collection is just lovely and what a treasure to have such a beautiful tiny sewing machine.

  4. Yeah for Camera upgrades!!! I love your spool collection but I bet you could have guessed that.

    Love, love, love the little family sewing machine - what a precious heirloom.

  5. What a great collection of Coats spools! I have a few of those, but mostly 'Sylko' cotton from Dewhurst & Sons, made in Great Britain. I love the imaginative names they gave the colours, like 'Tinsel Silver, 'Seal Brown', and 'Green Plume'. Love your toy sewing machine - it's a little cutie!

  6. wow, what a collection. those spools are beautiful. Do you mind if I pin to pinterest so I can enjoy them all the time?

  7. I had no idea it's been 200 years for Clarks & Coats, that's a long time.
    that little toy sewing machine is just adorable.
    keep up the good work with your photography, have fun with your new camera :)

  8. What a great collection! i am always in the midst of hoarding sewing supplies as well, although i don't have as pretty a collection as you do. mine's a mish-mash. my friend gifted me a toy sewing machine which is actually a music box. it's so adorable. i hope i eventually get done to posting about it on the blog!

  9. I love wooden spools. What are you saving them for? Just a collection? Check out this DIY where I used them to make a jewelry box!

    Amanda Rose


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