Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Vintage haberdashery

Huge three tray haberdashery box.

Have you ever thought of what Haberdashery means?
I found out that in the Middle Ages haberdashery included “daggers, swords, clasps, brooches, stay-laces, Spanish girdles, French cloths, Milan caps, glasses, painted crosses, dials, tables, cards, dolls, puppets, ink-horns, tooth-picks, fine earthen pots, pins and points, hawks’ bells, salt-cellars, spoons, knives, and tin dishes.” 
Today the current meaning of the word according to Wikipedia is a person who sells small articles of sewing, such as buttons ribbons, zippers and other notions. In the USA the word is a term for mens' outfitter.

I also discovered that there was and still is, although with a different aim now, a Haberdasher Company.

"The Company has its roots in a fraternity, a group of people who lived in the same area doing the same sort of work in medieval times and who worshipped at St. Paul's Cathedral. Members were haberdashers by trade. They sold ribbons, beads, purses, gloves, pins, caps and toys and in 1502 were joined by the hatmakers' fraternity. Thereafter there were two types of haberdasher: haberdashers of hats and the original haberdashers of small wares.
By 1650 the population of London had grown to such an extent that it was no longer possible to control the haberdashery trade. This resulted in a change of direction, over a long period, to the Company as it is now, with its emphasis on education and charitable giving."
Taken from the company website at 
So if you have ever wondered why many of us have such an interest in haberdashery it is because it is an inherent part of our culture.

1 comment:

Craft Matters said...

That is a wonderful box! I knew there was a reason I am obsessed by haberdashery..