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 Original ANIMAL SEWING CARDS Toy in Old BOX 1960s Unused NOS TOYS

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Antique SINGER SEWHANDY SEWING MACHINE Vintage Toys Box 1851 1951 Commemorative

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RARE VINTAGE SEWING MACHINE GES GESCH PENNY TOY IN ORIGINAL BOX GERMANY

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Vintage Salvage File Card Catalog 4 Drawer Library Cabinet Sewing Drawer wood

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GRAIN Antique Childs SEWING MACHINE Toy Vintage w Box Girls Toys Room Decor

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VINTAGE GERMAN GROZ BECKERT SEWING TOOLS MATCHINE PARTS 100PCS ACCESSORIES BOX

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RETRO VINTAGE CANTILEVER WOODEN SEWING BOX CRAFT STORAGE BOX

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Vintage Compact Hope Chest Sewing Box With Inlaid Handcrafted Wood A035

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Vintage SEWING BOX BASKET HAND STITCHED Bamboo Handle Pin Cushion Lid SATIN Line

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Lot Metal Box Of Vintage Sewing Machine Attachments Old White Greist

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Baby Lock Sewing Machine BL500 BL 500 Companion Vintage With Box

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AD603061 Vintage 1930s Sewing Machine w Carry Case box full of Attachments

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Barbie Kids Sewing Machine Portable Pink Original Box Instructions 2003 Vtg

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VINTAGE SEWING BOX TABLE EAMES DANISH MID CENTURY MODERN TEAK ART DECO 50s 60s

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Vintage Danish Modern Wooden Sewing BoxImportant Designer Mid Century

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Vintage 1955 Singer Sewhandy Childs Sewing Machine No 20 w Box Clamp Book

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Primitive wooden sewing box carved scissors pincushion vintage hand made

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Vintage Antique The New Home SM CO 3 Locking Drawer Sewing Cabinet

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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.