A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Housewife Sewing Kit and Comfort.

Everything we carry on the trail is for comfort. Different people have different ideas about what was carried by the average woodsman. But with basic items I do not find it hard to make a decision. Take the housewife for instance. We know for a fact that everyone, no matter who they are or what they are sooner or later will need clothing repair. For the woodsrunner it is even more so because of the increased wear and tear involved in the job. Some will say that we can make a needle and the thread when we need it, which is true, but would it be sensible after going to all the trouble to make a bone needle to then not carry it with you so you have to make a new needle each time you need to make new moccasins or repair your present ones?

The answer is no, it would not be sensible, so using the same logic, if you have access to metal sewing needles, why would you not obtain some and carry them with you? The same then applies to the thread, beeswax and maybe spare clothing buttons. It is just plain common sense to carry these items with you.

Here then are some items you may wish to consider carrying with you on the trail. Needles can do double duty used for removing wood splinters. Fine linen thread may be used in an emergency for stitching up wounds. Beeswax used to wax linen thread can also be used to seal tears in your oilcloth after repair.
Plain wood handled awl with wooden sheath.

An antler handled awl made by the author, a waxed linen thread wrapped wooden sheath, and the author's original awl once owned by his Father.

The author's Housewife and contents.

The pin cushion holds a variety of needles and is wrapped in two sizes of linen thread.

More linen thread on a horn thread winder made by the author, and a hand made bone button.

Rolls of animal sinew and rawhide used for repairing moccasins, and a piece of beeswax for waxing linen thread.

Showing the open pocket that holds spare buttons, beeswax and sinew and rawhide.

Showing the housewife rolled up and tied.

Early 18th century case and accessories.

Wooden needle cases.

Sewing items, including needles, straight pins, thimbles, scissors and a bone cap, possibly to a needle case.


2 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Saw your article in the Backwoodsman. Good one.

Blackthorn Bushcraft said...

Some food for thought inregards to my own kit, thanks for sharing.