Vintage Sewing Boxes

Vintage sewing boxes offer individuals a most interesting glimpse into the history of sewing. Before the production of mass clothing, practically every woman knew about sewing and altering clothes for their household. Required to master these skills from an early age, these boxes allowed a convenient way to store sewing accessories.

Made of fabric or leather, the earliest vintage sewing boxes looked simplistic. However, by the eighteenth century, they gained popularity in Europe, with local artisans such as metalworkers, craftsmen, and jewelers requested to design them for the aristocratic ladies of the court. This led to more beautiful and intricate designs. Boxes were made of rare woods or leather on the outside and inlaid with ivory, mother of pearl and gemstones. The interior linings consisted of silk or velvet. The boxes came in a variety of sizes, with the larger ones containing several sections or layers.

Vintage Retro Pearlised Lucite Music Jewellery Trinket Sewing Box

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Vintage Antique box Stationary sewing thread trinket jewelry Bakelite handles

$92.00
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Antique Primitive Old Teak Wood Sewing Tool Box vintage needle pin container

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VINTAGE HORSE CARRIAGE COPPER SCENIC EMBOSSED SEWING DOCUMENT FIRE BOX ENGLAND

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Black VINTAGE SINGER 99K SEWING MACHINE INC CASE ATTACHMENTS BOX Ship Worldwide

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Vintage Folk Art Metal Tin Sewing Box With Handles Very UNIQUE

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Antique Wooden Oak Singer Puzzle Box Sewing Machine Treadle Attachments 1889 Vtg

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Vtg SINGER presser FOOTDARNING EMBROIDERY + COVER PLATE box manual 6699201

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Vintage Handmade Wood Sewing Box Caddy Basket Americana Antique Rare

$65.00
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NICE RARE ANTIQUE VINTAGE SINGER 20 SEWHANDY SMALL CHILD TOY SEWING MACHINE +BOX

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Vintage Ejvind A Johansson Teak Sewing Table Denmark

$248.49
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Vtg Bentwood Basket Folk Art Pantry Box Sewing Primitive Oval Lidded

$69.00
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Vintage SEWING STORAGE BOX Danish Eames Style 50s 60s 70s

$87.70
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Vintage 1945 Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine 3 110 W Box Needs Power Cord

$399.00
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Vintage Singer Buttonhole Attachment No 86662 in Original Box +9 Pressure Plate

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Vintage Singer Model 20 Sewing Machine For Girls with C Clamp

$69.00 (8 Bids)
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Vintage SINGER TINY TAILOR MENDING MACHINE M100A + SEWING BOX Made In France

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Vintage Toy Singer Sewing Machine with Remote Pedal and Accessory Box

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By the nineteenth century, industrialization and the rise of the middle class created a need for a less expensive and more practical basket. It needed to survive adverse conditions and be durable and waterproof. Steel and notions made of steel were wrapped tightly to prevent rusting and stored inside. To prevent exposure to light, delicate thread was wrapped in brown paper; soft leather protected the sewing silks.

Typical vintage sewing boxes were made just large enough to hold women's sewing supplies along with room for some of her handiwork. They held a needle book which housed a variety of needle sizes along with an assortment of various types of thread, ranging from cotton, linen, and silk. The seamstress also kept buttons, scissors, shears, a pin cushion, and a measuring tape in her boxes. Considered intimate the boxes were kept locked, often with a love token inside such as a cherished love letter, a favorite book of poetry, or a picture of her beloved.

In China, the baskets were small and made of cane, willow, grass, rushes, bamboo, or honeysuckle with a lid. These became popular in the United States also, and exported in mass numbers till about 1930. The craftsman adorned them with colorful glass bangles, beads, coin and silk; and placed images of dragons and flowers on the front.

By the early twentieth century, baskets were the most used container in the United States. They came lined with spaces for pin cushions, scissors sheath, and thimble holder sewn into the lining. In the 1930s, wicker baskets became popular complete with cord handles and decorated with pictures of poodles and sewing tools.

Vintage sewing baskets comprise an important part of the history of sewing. They supplied women with convenient storage for their sewing supplies for centuries and evolved from leather containers into wooden and wicker ones. Their practicality and beauty make them a beloved and treasured container even today.