Exploring Antique Needles with Loene McIntyre

It might be difficult to imagine how one tiny, seemingly humble object could have such a significant impact on human history, but there is no questioning the importance of the needle. Before the nineteenth century, all clothes were sewn using a needle and thread. Needles also were extremely precious and valuable, as before the Industrial Revolution, they were all handmade.

Loene McIntyre understands the importance of needles throughout history, and the value of antique needles and needlework accessories is present in her incredible collection. In Antique Needles with Loene McIntyre Video Download, Loene sits with Interweave founder, Linda Ligon, and tells stories of the past while showing off her wildly impressive collection of needles, needle threaders, scissors, needle cases, thimbles, and more.

Antique Needles

Join Loene McIntyre as she guides you through the fascinating history of the seemingly humble tool, the sewing needle.

Loene started collecting in 1988 at an antiques show in Washington, D.C., when she found a small needle case. After the show, she got a book about sewing tools, and her collection took off from there. Many pieces of her collection can be seen in various PieceWork issues, including the July/August 2007 issue in the article “Redditch: England’s Needle-Making Center” and on the covers of the September/October 2002 issue and the January/February 2003 issue.

Certainly, she has learned a lot about the history of needlework tools from collecting needles, and in this video, she shares these stories with us and goes beyond needles. For instance, in her stash of over 400 thimbles, she has a style called the Atlantic Cable Thimble. Loene tells the story behind the thimble that involves the first message ever sent via the Atlantic Telegraph Cable, which was fueled by a battery made of a thimble filled with acid and zinc. The thimble battery powered a message that went from Ireland to Newfoundland and back in one second.

More fascinating stories await in Antique Needles with Loene McIntyre, and if you can’t get enough of Leone and Linda, you’ll be happy to hear that this is only one of four videos, featuring the two of them and Loene’s fascinating items. See more of her collection in Antique Sewing Pins, Antique Sewing Thread and Bobbins, and A Potpourri of Odd Sewing Tools.

Happy exploring,

For more of Loene and her fascinating collection: