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 Gold Medal Style Setter 1937 Show Sewing Set Toy +Box Fashion Transogram

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primitive antique vintage wood flour dough bin box sewing storage end side table

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VINTAGE STROMMEN BRUK HAMAR EXPANDABLE WOODEN SEWING CHEST BOX NORWAY

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VINTAGE NAPCO CAT KITTEN SEWING TAPE MEASURE PIN BOX

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Vintage Sewing Box Sterling Silver Blue Purple Velvet Pin Cushion

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52 BOXES OF VINTAGE 22IN 24 IN ZIPPERS SCOVILL CONMAR IDEAL CONMATIC MUST SEE

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VINTAGE wood SEWING box CADDY basket FOLDING accordion + 150 thread spoolsDEAL

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Vintage Mid 1910s Handmade Wooden Sewing Box w Fine Street Drawing

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Vintage Sewing box pin cushion pincushion Couch Davenport

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VINTAGE ACCORDIAN FOLD OUT WOOD SEWING CHEST BOX ROMANIA

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Vintage Wood Accordion Sewing Craft Box Basket Tray Folding Fold Out

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Vintage Wood Accordion Sewing Box Fold Out Cantilever Watch Repair Jeweler

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Vintage childs Sewing Machine WITH BOX Made IN FRACE IN 1964 PRINCESS

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Old Vintage Shaker 4 Finger Sewing Box with Handle Copper Nails

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Rare Singer Sewing Machine Trade Souvenir Hand Fan in Box Treadle Attachments

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SEWING MACHINE VINTAGE DOMESTIC SPECIAL ELECTRIC MANUAL PEDAL BOX TESTED

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VINTAGE George C Brown Co Inc Greensboro NC CEDAR SEWING CHEST BOX

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ANTIQUE VINTAGE SEWING BOX STOOL TABLE VELVET CUSHIONED

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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.