Thoughts, ideas, tutorials, projects - anything to do with quilting and sewing.
Friday, 14 September 2012
Forge Mill Needle Museum
Well, after an absence from my blog I am back because I have just been to a lovely place that I must tell you about - the Forge Mill Needle Museum in Redditch. What a treat! Redditch and the area used to be the world leaders in needle manufacture and the museum gives a wonderful idea of how needles were made in the 19th century.
I think that I can safely say that almost all of it was new to me. Apparently needles were made by drawing out lengths of steel, basically stretching the wire so that it became longer and thinner. This was all done manually at one time. The wire was then cut into double the length of the needles required so that two needles were made at a time. The photos both show some of the range of needle packs through the years.
The double needles were ground to a point at each end and then two imprints were made in the middle for the eyes of the needle. Once these had been cut through the double needle was cut in the middle to separate the two needles and then the strengthening and cleansing of the needles could take place. What amazed me was the sheer quantity of needles made in this way - needles from Redditch were shipped all over the world at one time. One interesting thing was that ordinary needles were used in surgery for a long time before specialist surgical needles were designed and manufactured.
Although I have wanted to go to the museum for a long time, the thing that finally drove me there was the quilt exhibition that they are running at the moment. There were some delightful wall hangings based on the Far East using a great variety of techniques and stitches. Really interesting. The exhibition runs until 21st October and this link will give you more information about the museum: http://www.forgemill.org.uk/index.htm
Tomorrow I will definitely catch up and let you know about all the blocks and quilts that I have been working on while I have neglected my blog.