History of thimbles and the different types available for crafters. Thimbles are small protective devices crafters and sewers use to push needles through the fabric while preventing injury to their fingers. They have been used for centuries and have evolved to meet the needs of different types of needlework. Thimbles were first used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who made them out of bronze or other metals. They were initially used as protective devices by metalworkers who needed to handle hot materials. Later, thimbles became popular among needleworkers and were made from various materials, including ivory, bone, silver, and gold.
One of the earliest forms of thimbles was the leather thimble. Leather thimbles were popular during the medieval period and were made from the skin of animals such as cows, goats, and pigs. They were worn over the fingers for protection and were commonly used by sewists and embroiderers. Another type of thimble that gained popularity during the Victorian era was the metal thimble. Metal thimbles were made from various metals, including brass, silver, and gold. They were often decorated with ornate designs and were considered a symbol of status and wealth. The silver thimble was especially popular among Victorian women, who often collected them as sewing accessories.
In addition to leather and metal thimbles, plastic thimbles have become popular recently. Plastic thimbles are often made from silicone or other synthetic materials and are flexible and easy to use. They are an excellent option for those who are allergic to metal or who find metal thimbles uncomfortable to wear. There are also specialty thimbles designed for specific types of needlework. For example, quilters often use a thimble with a dimpled top that helps them simultaneously push needles through several layers of fabric. Tailors, on the other hand, often use a thimble with a flat top that allows them to feel the material more easily.
In sewing today, many of us have long nails, and there are thimble designs to fit over your nails, making it easier to sew and keep that manicure nice. In conclusion, thimbles have a long and fascinating history and have evolved to meet the needs of different types of needlework. From leather and metal to plastic and specialty thimbles, there is a thimble out there for every crafter. So the next time you sit down to do some needlework, consider using a thimble to protect your fingers and make your work more efficient.