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 Singer ZigZag attachment 160991 + 10 cams in box for 221K 222K RARE BOX

$249.50
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VINTAGE HORSE CARRIAGE COPPER SCENIC EMBOSSED SEWING DOCUMENT FIRE BOX ENGLAND

$89.99
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Vintage Art Deco Wooden Sewing Thread Box Old Plastic Handle Removable Trays

$54.99
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Fabulous antique vintage French fabric covered sewing boudoir box 1920s roses

$95.07
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Vintage style wooden sewing jewelly box with sewing machine design

$50.18
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Vintage style wooden sewing jewelly box with deer stag design

$50.18
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Vintage style wooden sewing jewelly box sewing machine 2 design

$50.18
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1987 Vintage Wooden Accordion Style Sewing Box Basket Storage Craft Romania

$50.44
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ANTIQUE VINTAGE WOOD HAND CARVED HINGED SEWING STATIONARY JEWELLERY TRINKET BOX

$105.62
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Vintage Wood Accordian Stand Sewing Box

$55.00
Time Remaining: 3h 39m
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VINTAGE WOODEN EXPANDABLE SEWING BOX DOVETAIL

$93.12
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Vtg Wood Sewing Cabinet Stand Chest Box Caddy Country Mission Shaker Style Nice

$79.99
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Vintage Spool Organizer With Vintage Thread Old Buttons Sewing Box Old Chair

$59.00
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Mini Singer Wood Sewing Box Fold Out Accordian Style Crafting Storage Vintage

$57.99
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VTG Singer Sewing Machine Bundle with Attachments Box 401

$370.00
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Vintage Folk Art Handcrafted Round Wood Storage Sewing Box W Bone Latch CUTE

$124.50
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Betsy Ross Miniature Sewing Machine Toy in Box Vintage 1950s Metal

$74.99
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Vintage Ornate Sewing Trinket Wooden Box w Latch Antique Boxes Sew 7524

$289.95
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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.