Sunday, 16 June 2013

A Silky Tale

Friday afternoon saw our usual bimble around the charity shops. Mum and I both live in market towns with their fair share of these and so we visit each on alternate weeks. Lunch always comes first with a good old catch up of the weeks news, and coffee and cake always follows. This part gives us time to rummage through any purchases in greater detail and 'ooh' and 'ahh' at our finds.

There was a lot of 'oohing' last Friday.

Possibly unlike most people I am always drawn to lumpy old plastic bags that have been tucked under a shelf. Sometimes they contain boxes of unused jockstraps (yes - that was a treat I managed to resist!) but more often than not they contain a collection of odds and ends that don't merit their own space on display. So when I saw some old embroidery hoops poking out of the bag I was immediately drawn in. A cursory glance at the rest of the contents saw another bag filled with thread - always useful - so I handed over my five pounds and went on my way.

The post bimble rummage was a treat. Not only were there various threads in beautiful colour ways but there were these beauties

Large wooden reels surrounded by luxurious silk thread

Closer investigation revealed this
 Which of course demanded further attention

By the power of the internet I was able to glean a little more information
An advert from 1917

Look at that! I wonder if these were ever used for dhooties, or indeed filoselle? The telephone number was also a treat - number 11 - not many around then I don't suppose. I wasn't able to find out much more about the company other than it was owned by the Brook family and the building is now listed. I'd love to know more if anyone out there could help.

This sort of find always fascinates me. I want to know who it belonged to, where they lived, what they used it for. 

Was this used for a wedding gown?

The richness of the colours are beautiful

I wonder if they ever went ahead and purchased the mustard?

The blue is almost luminous

I don't know how old these are - I'm guessing from the advert some could be from one hundred years ago - but they have survived the test of time and are still as vibrant and strong as they were when new. Will I ever use them? Who knows but for now I'm happy just staring at them and wondering what stories they could tell.

And if there is a moral to this story let it be this - for every bag of jock straps there is a bag of treasure.




  1. Haha I am amazed by such a lovely find and weirded out by the bag of jockstraps. Fantastic post, let us know if you do use the threads or hopps for anything!

  2. Dear Plain Jane
    What a great find. I hope you do use the thread in a project one day - I love the blue thread in particular. If you do eventually use the threads, the reels will make a fantastic display by themselves. It's a win-win situation!
    (Incidentally, Jock straps - ugh!)
    Best wishes

  3. What a beautiful find! I'd use a bit of the thread for special projects but really, you should just display these lovely bits of history and keep imagining their stories. Lucky you!
    Chrissie x

  4. Oh those threads are stunning, such gorgeous rich colours.
    M x

  5. What an amazing find. I have lots of empty wooden spools but none like that with that beautiful thread.
    Hugs to you,

  6. What a great find. It's brilliant being able to research things on the internet now. Years ago you would have had to go to the library and probably not found anything! xx

  7. Brilliant finds, not sure why anyone would send jockstraps to a charity shop but at least you got some lovely treasures!

  8. Ooooh! Such great treasure there! :) x

  9. Wow! A fiver?! What a fantastic find. If I found something like that I'd be putting them in one of those picture boxes to marvel at (better than jock straps!). The thread has really stood the test of time and I hope you manage to find more information on the company. Amazing! xx

  10. Oh wow what a treat and a super bargain. I love charity shops I always enjoy a good rummage x

  11. Wonderful vibrant colours to enjoy and a little history to research as well what a bargain:)

  12. Ooh I love finding things like this too ... A fiver very well spent!

    Love Claire xx

  13. Crumbs, didn't you do well, Jane? I'd have to frame the threads or something like that. They're way too nice to use! :o)

  14. Hee, I shall start looking for the jock straps, what a brilliant find :) xx

  15. What a great find, how exciting. Those colours are still so vibrant and beautiful and I just love those wooden spools. I volunteer at our local Acorns shop and it's amazing the amount of "plastic bags of jockstraps" equivalents we get in, but as you say, every now & again, there is treasure. Definitely worth it to keep looking.
    Have a lovely week, xx

  16. What great finds, just wonderful.

  17. What treasures! I can see why you were filled with glee! I would be too!

  18. I could never use them ... display only, and under glass!! And I'm just curious, but did you buy the bag of jock straps too?! You are a lucky girl ... about the silk thread, not the jock straps ;) Wendy

  19. What an amazing find, I'm going to look near the jock straps with renewed interest next time I'm thrift shopping! Seriously though, how cool that they are still in their original state and in such fine condition - I'm rather jealous!
    Em x

  20. Gorgeous and mysterious and beautiful too
    lucky you
    d x

  21. Dear Jane
    Can I please go bimbling with your good self next time you go? I am a bimbler by nature and always bimble through the plastic bags - I would be an asset to your bimbling and would not hold you back in any way, shape or form. The downside is that we would have to share spoils so it is only fair that you divvy up the good pronto....
    Lovely and I hope that you find more about them - dating from a time when the cotton industry still existed.

    Top tip from a fellow bimbler - NEVER BUY THE JOCK STRAPS - I did that once and I have had nightmares ever since....
    Best wishes

  22. Fabulous! How beautiful are they and it's lovely that you managed to find out about the company! xx

  23. Beautiful colours - beats jockstraps (unworn or otherwise!) any day!

  24. Wow amwhar very amazing finds. I'm always I'm the lookout for these, you scored as the cost a fair bit these days!! Xo


I love to read your comments - they are appreciated sooooo much. Thanks for making my day xxx