I Love You with All My Needles

valetines day sewing

Sewing for Love

It is believed that humans started sewing with a needle 25,000 years ago. Yes, the art of attaching objects together by using a needle and a thread dates back as early as the prehistoric age!

Imagine a woman lovingly sewing together a hide or bark for clothing, to protect her husband and children from the harsh environment. Using needles made of animal bones or natural needles from the agave plant, she must have spent many hours hand sewing her family’s clothes with the very limited material available to her.  It is certainly different today with a quick search on Amazon showing over a million sewing items!

The thimble, made from bone, wood or bark also made its appearance during this time, to give her the much needed help in pushing her needle through tough surfaces. For sewing thread, she made use of the single strand sinew and plant fiber or a combination of animal and plant fiber, spun together to make a stronger thread.

valetines day sewing

Ancient Sewing Materials

Today, sewing is a lot simpler and fun with all the technology and materials available to us. Indeed, it is much easier to drive to our favorite textile store and pick a fabric than to collect a bark in the forest and dry them, for example. So it must have been a labor of love for these prehistoric Moms to provide their families with all their clothing needs that it might be more apt for them to declare to their loved ones: I love you with all my needles!

Valentines Day Sewing

As Valentine’s Day approaches and we start planning which delightful creation we are going to sew for our family and friends, we can pause for a moment and salute these pre-historic Moms who toiled hard to provide clothes to their families armed only with a needle, thimble, fiber and bark or hide.  And let’s thank the sewing industry innovators who made sewing a lot easier for us today.

The invention of the sewing machine in the 19th century definitely took the industry by storm and allowed us to sew faster and be more creative and innovative.  The first patent for the sewing machine was issued to Elias Howe in 1846 and their popularity grew through the Civil War period in the US.  By the 20th century, sewing machines had become household items and were accessible to nearly everyone –thankfully.

In celebration of the day of hearts, you must be planning to sew something special and adorable for people close to you and you can certainly feel lucky because sewing for your loved ones have never been this much fun!  Here are a couple of Valentines Day sewing ideas.

Please share with us what you plan to sew for Valentines Day in the comments below.

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7 Responses to I Love You with All My Needles

  1. Becky dockery says:

    Great article,love to hand sew quilts.

  2. Bracken says:

    I did not now about ancient sewing materials so this is really interesting.
    I was going to make the free Heart skirt pattern:
    http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/the-heartskirt which I found in the Burdastyle projects last year but I found it after valentines day and thought it would be fun to make this this year.

  3. Shirley Anne Farrow says:

    Hooray for modern sewing machines

  4. SewMagical says:

    Nice article giving a look backward in time. I wrote something simsilar, for a machine-embroidery site. (http://www.designsbysick.com/articles/now-and-then/). Also, I think you may have mis-typed something. Sewing machines were ~invented~ in the 19th century, not the 2oth. They were around as early as the U.S. Civil War in the the 1860’s. It was in the 20th century they became more common household items..

  5. Beth Levenson says:

    I think most the sewing I do these days is for love. I have 2 granddaughters whom I love to sew for. And thank goodness I don’t have to do it with a hand needle and thread!

    I did want to point out that the sewing machine was invented in the 19th century, not the 20th. Elias Howe was awarded the first patent for it in 1846. So we’ve had a lot of time to improve on the original treadle model, though I’m sure our great-great grandmothers really appreciated how much easier sewing was with the new invention.

What do you think?