Sometimes I get really nerdy about thread…

Okay. So, sometimes I get really nerdy about thread. It’s just one of those things that happens, so here’s my recent thread obsession story:

I went to a flea market recently and ended up scoring a huge basket full of embroidery floss. I am talking like a ton of floss…you can see a photo of my almost complete stash on my instagram (I couldn’t fit it all quite into the picture but it shows most of it) username –> CeeStitchery. I was excited #1 because I just tripled my stash for $10, and #2 the majority of it was Anchor brand floss, and I always buy DMC, mostly just  because that’s what is accessible to me. So the idea of trying a different brand of floss and adding so much to my color palette was really cool.

 It took me a while to get around to sorting through this messy basket. I separate all of my floss into groups of pastels, brights, and darks. I have slowly been working away at it when I have a few free minutes or decide to take a break from stitching. A week or so ago I came across a skein with a label I had never seen before.  It looked particularly old so I decided to ask my mom if she’d heard of it before. She hadn’t , so we googled it. The label said “Corticelli”.  I found out that Corticelli was indeed a thread manufacturer once upon a time but hadn’t existed for quite a while. And that was it. I was obsessed. I spent more time than I’d like to admit the next day researching it on the internet, but was surprised at how little there was on it. It doesn’t even have it’s own Wikipedia page.

ImageHowever I did discover that Corticelli played a pretty cool part in the history of sewing thread. Basically, it started out as the Nonotuck Silk Company in the 1830’s and grew to become the world’s largest supplier of silk thread during it’s time. The company stayed in business until 1930. They were the first to manufacture “machine twist” thread, and to produce a thread that worked properly in the newly invented sewing machine. They of course, also manufactured other types of thread including embroidery floss.

Here are a couple of links that provide a more detailed account of what I’ve briefly explained above:

I got a huge portion of the rest of the floss organized this past weekend and found a few more skeins of Corticelli! I think what initially excited me the most was finding out that Corticelli went out of business in 1930. Meaning these skeins of thread have to be at least that old. I expected that they were vintage but not quite that vintage!


I’m so curious as to who this basket belonged to. I imagine the Corticelli thread and maybe more was probably passed down to her. It was a man that sold it to me at the flea market but I didn’t get a chance to talk with him – it was pretty busy! It’s fun to daydream about where all these threads came from, what projects they were intended for, and what they were used for over the years. I live for this stuff.


Thanks for reading,XO




6 thoughts on “Sometimes I get really nerdy about thread…

  1. Wow, great story. These are the best kind of treasures, and you did good research! When I was a teenager I found a huge box put out as garbage that was full of old sewing stuff like this; buttons on cards and wooden cotton reels and half-finished projects, I think at least as old as you describe. I used some and lost some and who knows where the rest went. I still dream about it 🙂

    • Thanks Michelle! Wow, that sounds like an amazing find – how lucky! I totally agree, they are the best kind of treasures. It’s awesome that you found use for all those precious notions someone was going to throw away. Sewing notions should never be tossed away 🙂
      p.s. thanks for the follow! Following you as well, and cant wait to see some of your posts!

  2. What a great story and so cool that you looked into the brand’s history. I love embroidery floss too, especially old ones! I inherited my grandma’s tin of embroidery floss with so many fun colors and a lot of them she hand wrapped around wooden spools. It’s adorable! It’s a minty green flowery tin. I love it! I’m slowly working my way through it all. …Now I went off on a tangent! Thanks for sharing! : )

    • Thank you! 🙂 What a treasure to have inherited your Grandma’s floss tin. My Grandma and my Mom were the people who inspired me to get into needlework in the first place. My Grandma doesn’t stitch much anymore so she also passed her floss collection on to me last year. It was kind of the spark that started my real passion for embroidery and everything else that followed like the idea to open my etsy shop. So I know what you mean when you say you love your Grandma’s floss tin – things like this can mean more than people will ever know 🙂 Thanks for your comment – i love to hear from other embroidery floss lovers!

  3. So great to find that others are as nerdy, as I am, when it comes to thread, embroidey and stitches. I shared your blog post on my blog, hope you dont mind. Thank you for the story;-)

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