I have been lucky enough to 'inherit' various haberdashery items from both my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother left me the most amazing button collection, the remnants of her children's wear factory, and my maternal grandmother left me this fabulous collection of cotton reels. I say 'inherit' but really these items are just one of many that become part of an estate and need to be distributed thoughtfully.
Happily they have each inspired me to create. The buttons are used in my hair accessories (button bows to be precise) and the cotton reels will ensure that I never need buy cotton again as I have every shade imaginable!
The lovely part about these items is that I think of both of my grandmothers every time I see their things in my sewing cupboard. I think about their lives and the fact that they saved everything and wasted nothing and it makes me reflect on my own wastage and misuse of materials. I do endeavour to recycle and reuse as much as I can and I think the key to this is to be well organised and have great storage where you can clearly label and categorise items.
Amongst the collection was this hosiery darning thread, I marvel at the idea of mending tights. Now laddered tights are only good for staking plants in the garden, but in my grandmothers time they would have been painstakingly mended and mended again.
When we lived in the UK I used to collect the lids from the milk bottles and I even brought them with me to Australia to use in children's art projects and costumes. Sadly they are all gone now and I wonder whether it would be ecologically sound to have my mother in law collect some more and post them to me? Probably not as I am sure the carbon emissions would be breathtaking.