Tuesday, February 19, 2013
To Thimble Or Not To Thimble?
Since we've been talking a lot about the embroiderer's preferred tools lately, I thought I would see what you all think about thimbles. I'm curious because I seem to be in the minority as a thimble-user, but most non-thimble-users do admit to stabbing themselves quite a lot while working. I too resisted using one for a long time, but now it's one of the most important items in my sewing box!
Above you'll see a selection of the thimbles found around my house. From left to right, they are:
- A medieval reproduction thimble,
- Two simple metal thimbles that can be found in the sewing section of any craft store,
- A Clover Protect and Grip Thimble,
- And the standard decorative porcelain thimble, just for fun! (This one's from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.)
These are just a small selection of the thimble types available today, though we usually just think of the simple metal type. When we asked you guys on Twitter and Facebook if you're thimble-users, most of you said no, that they're just too awkward and don't fit on your finger properly. Which is exactly how I feel about the metal ones - they always make me hold my hand weirdly, as if I've just painted my nails and don't want to mess them up! I think thimble fit is more important than we realize and really effects how useful they are.
My current thimble of choice is the Clover Protect and Grip (the hot pink one) and I love it to pieces. When I sew by hand, I wear it on my right middle finger and use it for pushing the needle. When I embroider, I wear on my left middle finger and use it to protect the side of my finger that is stabbed repeatedly. Without a thimble, I always end up with very painful, tiny holes in my fingers! The rubbery thimble stays put, doesn't have that unnatural feeling, and protects from both stabbing and pushing.
There are a lot of other choices out there though! I personally think the medieval reproduction thimble looks so useful, since a lot of us stab or push with the side of our fingers, not the tip. Several companies still make ring thimbles now, as well as leather thimbles which seem to be a favorite. In the interest of science, I've ordered one of each so I can test them out and report back to you next week. Hopefully this little thimble exploration will help you find the perfect tool to protect your fingers!
In the meantime, tell us: do you thimble?