Shopping Cart

The Cloth and Notions Blog — History

Shoe Laces. Shoe Strings. Boot Laces

Posted by Rachel Thomas on

Shoe History Historically, shoelaces were made of leather, cotton, jute, hemp or other materials traditionally used in the manufacture of rope. The natural materials used to make shoes means that there are rarely historical records of them, and so the exact history of shoelaces is quite hard to determine. The Areni-1 shoe, which has been dated to around 3500 BC and discovered in 2010 is the oldest known example of a leather shoe, and clearly has lacing which passes through eyelets that have been cut into the leather. The Areni-1 shoe Natural or Synthetic? Modern shoelaces are made in much the same way...

Read more →


Back to School

Posted by Rachel Thomas on

At the launch of my Back to School selection, I've begun to get all nostalgic about University and the time I spent there.  Looking back, I only have this very lovely rose tinted version of how amazing it was: An eternal summer, sitting an eating lunches outside in the sunshine; a short 15 minute walk from my student house to the campus (and thinking that was a hefty commute!). Making friends that I'm still in touch with now and going out and having fun. However, when I look closer and the hazy mist of good memories drifts over I remember...

Read more →


A Very English Tape Measure

Posted by Rachel Thomas on

In my quest to find British made products to sell in the shop, I found that a high proportion of the haberdashery we use everyday is made in Germany. At work I came across a tape measure labelled DEAN Made in England and instantly thought - "this is one for me, I can stock these". I excitedly googled away and was disappointed to find out that as with most British brands, they no longer exist, and by default the tape measure was older than me! Dean were acquired by another company called 'Rabone Chesterman' in 1986, which subsequently was sold...

Read more →


The Humble Bodkin

Posted by Rachel Thomas on

When I inherited my Grandmothers sewing kit, it was full of the standard sewing tools that we all know and love: Needles, threads on lovely wooden reels, some embroidery scissors and a selection of mending tapes and zips. Hidden away at the bottom was an old Altoids tin containing some peculiar implements I had never seen before. Among them - the Bodkin. "Why is this needle blunt, and why does it have a split going right down to the end? This is good for nothing!" I was perplexed, to say the least. I was too young to appreciate how handy...

Read more →


The Low Down on Dress Shields

Posted by Rachel Thomas on

Sometimes called 'Underarm Liners' also, fondly referred to as 'Pit Pads'. These are a Wardrobe and Costume staple. Under the heat of the theatre lights they can help disguise perspiration from both men's and women's costumes and can be found in everything from shirts to suit jackets to satin dresses. They can also help protect the Costume from the effects that wearing something 8 times a week can have, even the use of deodorant can often have a damaging effect on the fabrics. All of these benefits are great- I'm sure you'll agree, but the best is yet to come! Above all,...

Read more →