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.

LARGE CANTILEVER SEWING BOX VINTAGE RETRO With Queen Anne Legs

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vtg bent wood shaker firkin coopered bucket box singer sewing machine driver

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Vintage Solid Wood Accordian Sewing Box with Dovetail Joints

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VINTAGE SEWING J P COATS MENDING SILK 10 COLORS IN BOX

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5842 Vintage Antique Wood Sewing Box Basket w Contents Estate Item

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Vintage Wood Romania Fold Out Accordion Dovetail Cantilever Sewing Box w Legs

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Sajou French vintage antique style sewing box Little girls sewing

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Antique Vintage Collectible Sewing Machine with Box

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VINTAGE ACCORDION STYLE SOLID WOOD SEWING BOX MADE IN ROMANIA FULL OF NOTIONS

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Vintage Maple Wood Accordion Sewing Craft Box Basket Folding Fold Out Cantilever

$56.99
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Vintage SINGER SewHandy Model 20 Childs Sewing Machine In Box

$172.50 (3 Bids)
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VINTAGE SINGER SEW HANDY NO 20 W BOX MINI METAL SEWING MACHINE CRANK

$110.00
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Vintage wood Accordion Style Sewing Box Cloth Top Powell Made inTaiwan

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Vintage Romanian Decorated Miniature Cantilever Sewing Box 1966

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Vintage Fold Out Wood Accordian Sewing Box Made in Romania Large Storage Brown

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Vintage USB Large Sewing Basket Box White Gold Blue Wicker 2 Plastic Trays Japan

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Vintage german empty sewing tools tin box AMANN UND SOHNE S2597

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Rare Antique Vintage Fold Out Sewing Box Sewing Kit with Artwork Panels

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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.