Everything you ever wanted to know about Thread/Spool Cabinets

Last summer on a visit to Kalona, Iowa I fell in love. Hard… With thread cabinets. Somehow until then I was woefully ignorant of their very existence. Luckily we were photographing Quilt Barns in the area when I spotted a building with quilts on it. Wouldn’t this catch your eye? “STOP the car” I called out, trembling with excitement.
Oh, and it got better. Look at the description of what is here. How can I not have heard of this place earlier and what are spool cabinets?
That’s how I got a crush on thread cabinets, I entered that amazing collection of them and lusted after one with all my heart.
And to think that these cabinets were free store displays? Free you say, are they free now? I wish!
Let me explain further, after sewing machines became available in homes the thread market took off. It was dominated by various Scottish and English corporations who had quite a bit of experience in the field. Housewives were no longer spinning their own thread but buying it from Clark’s or Coat’s, two companies which combined eventually.  All this combining of companies eventually led to lawsuits but that’s a different story!  There was pressure to produce more colors of thread, to compete in the marketplace.   In about 1880 Clark’s even invented a “new” thread which they called Our New Thread or O.N.T.! Merchants of dry goods needed the thread cabinets to store, display and entice customers.  Here are a few more cabinets from the museum.
Which brings me to my new office and my fabulous Christmas present. My husband is an amazing internet shopper and knows when I am panting with excitement for something. He found this gorgeous thread cabinet for me and was hiding it at his office for my Christmas present.  However, once the home office was complete there was an obvious place for this thread cabinet to go. He brought it home to me and gave me my Christmas present early.  I could not have been more thrilled. Look, doesn’t it look great with the sewing machine lamp I already had on top of it?  It completes the office with a personalized  sewing touch!  You can tell that a quilter/sewer uses this swanky new space.
I hope you are not too jealous, you can visit the museum yourself in Iowa and look on the internet for one to buy. My new crush might be my new thread cabinet but the love of my life is the man who gave it to me, my sweet husband.

Sew happy!

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at QuiltingSewingCreating@gmail.com

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