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The silk thread made by spinning the silkworm's fibers together is often extremely fine. Consequently, it is hard to work with. In order to make it a bit thicker, several silk threads are twisted together to form a silk yarn or sewing thread. That thread is still extremely fine, especially compared to other fibers, but it is still much easier to work with. Twisting two threads of different colors, as a female resident of Scituate did with one of these pieces, produces an interesting color combination. Even after the introduction of the sewing machine in 1846 by Elias Howe, sewing at home remained quite common until the late 1950s.


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Sewing Silk

location   Scituate, Massachusetts or Rhode Island
length   5.0"
length   9.0"
process/materials   silk
item type   Tools/Textile working Tools & Equipment
accession #   #1909.04.01a-d

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See Also...

Embroidery of Mount Vernon

"The Shepherdess of the Alps" embroidery

Hoyt family register

Phelps mourning embroidery

"The Silk Culturist"

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