Wednesday 13 November 2013


Every now and then, Louise likes to go to a place called Fabricland. It’s not a sovereign nation, it isn’t a country made entirely of fabric and to my knowledge it isn’t a magical land where gnomes, fairies and other magical folk live. It is just a store that has thousands of different kinds of material and pretty much anything a person would need if they were to do any sewing.

Curiously enough, the one thing they don’t sell is sewing machines. I guess that sewing machines need a different kind of place and sales people with a specialized knowledge.

I will usually go with Louise and once inside I go my separate way. She is looking for fabric and I am generally looking for anything that catches my eye. They have all sorts of specialized tools, cutting boards, scissors, buttons, patches, thread and all sorts of colourful items that just cry out to be touched. I like to know what kind of things a store carries just in case I am ever asked by someone where they might find buttons shaped like a butterfly, or a curved ruler that has grid lines.

Did I mention pins? There are pins and needles galore, all different sizes, shapes, colours and of course uses. I was speculating what use a particular pin would have when I saw this free pamphlet on choosing the right pin for your purpose. Just the thing I needed at the moment and as it turns out just the thing I need for this blog.

I learned that there are at least 26 different kinds of pins and all of them have a special purpose. I think that they could do with fewer different kinds and just make do with what was left, but that’s just me. There are pins for delicate fabric, pins for heavy fabric, and pins for quilting, for sequins, lace, knits and for beading. There are pins with one prong, two prongs and prongs that are twisted. They sell a variety of safety pins, some of which I have seen before and others that I haven’t. I remember the diaper pin, but there isn’t much use for it these days, and I notice there is a blanket pin. I wonder why you would need a pin for a blanket.

Pins have a head, a shaft and a point. They can be short, medium or long and they can be made form nickel plated steel, stainless steel, brass and nickel plated brass. You can buy special pin boxes, a tomato pin cushion (I remember that mom had one of those), a magnetic pin holder and a pin wand to pick up fallen pins. Okay, that last one is just a plastic covered magnet.

I don’t know why I even care, and I am sure that you could care even less than I do. It’s just nice to know that there are people out there that spend their waking hours making sure that we have pins for all occasions. Strange way to make a living. 

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