Pin cushions, also known as needle cushions, have been used by seamstresses and needle workers for centuries to store and organize their pins, needles, and other small tools. While the practicality of pin cushions remains unchanged, the design and materials used to make them have evolved over time, resulting in a diverse range of beautiful antique pin cushions that are highly sought after by collectors today.
The earliest pin cushions date back to the 16th century and were made from simple materials such as velvet, silk, or stuffed fabric. These early pin cushions were often small and simple in design, often shaped like a tomato, hence the nickname “tomato pin cushion”.
As time went on, the design of pin cushions became more elaborate, incorporating intricate embroidery, beading, and lace. The Victorian era saw the rise of the “pincushion dolls” which were miniature dolls that served as both pin cushions and decorative objects. These dolls were made from a variety of materials including porcelain, cloth, and bisque, and often featured intricate clothing and accessories. These beautiful little dolls are definitely a fun thing to collect!
One of the most unique and highly collectible types of antique pin cushions is the “scissor holder” pin cushion. These pin cushions were made in the shape of a scissor handle and were designed to hold both the pin cushion and a pair of scissors. The scissor holder pin cushion was a practical solution for needle workers who needed to keep their scissors close at hand while working.
Another type of antique pin cushion is the “needle book”, which was essentially a miniature book filled with pins and needles. Needle books were popular from the 16th century through the 19th century and were often made from materials such as leather, silk, or paper.
Collectors love antique pin cushions for their historical significance and unique designs. While some antique pin cushions are quite valuable, others can be found at relatively affordable prices, making them a great option for those just starting to build their collection. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a beginner, an antique pin cushion is sure to bring a touch of history and charm to your sewing room.
Antique pin cushions certainly are fascinating pieces of history. They are beautiful reminders of the those who sewed before us!