Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Okay, added another addition to my projects list. I need to either invest in a period thimble or learn how to make a period thimble. It's not that my fingers are pricked beyond repair, by any means, but I have poked my third and fourth finger a few times. Enough to make me realize the need for a thimble. Therefore,

14) Thimble, from what I gather thus far, they were hammered or possibly cast metals. I'm finding hammered to be more common. They'd tend to take a circle of brass and hammer it into the desired shape adding the indentations by hand later.

According to <http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/thimble.html>,

"By the early fifteenth century, thimbles began to acquire a taller and more familiar form, although their crowns usually retained the domed or hemispherical shape of earlier types, and they remained rimless. Their indentations were manually produced and may follow a spiral, vertical linear or parallel ring pattern up the thimble. The size of the indentations varies considerably, the larger ones designed for use with coarser needles and thicker fabric or leather.

The use of precious metals for thimble manufacture during the medieval period appears to be extremely rare and copper-based alloys, predominantly brass, were invariably employed. Although there was no large-scale brass-working industry in England, many thimbles were produced locally. Some, however, were imported from the continent, principally from Nuremberg, which was a major brass-working centre."

Nuremberg thimbles were quite famous for a number of years.

K.C. has indicated what it's going to take to make a brass thimble. Not many tools, but it's tedious work. Okay, so I have a winter project. Not sure how long it'll take for me to learn the process or to actually make one effectively, but hey, it's all about the process, right?

Some examples...

Image of a 14th century thimble

Image of a 14th century hammered copper thimble found in Cornwall.

Image of a 15th century thimble

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