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.
However 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: http://www.textilehistory.org/NonotuckSilkCompany.html http://www.smith.edu/hsc/silk/northampton.html
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