Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Thimbles, Pt. 2
Continuing our thimble discussion from last week, I tested out these two different thimble types while doing a bit over stitching over the weekend. I tested by doing a bit of English Paper Piecing, because that's when I tend to do the most damage to my fingertip.
The ring thimble didn't prove terribly useful, sitting just a bit further down on my finger than I use during my normal hand-sewing and embroidery activities. I suspect it could be handy if I was sewing thicker materials, like denim, where the metal combined with a sideways push would be very effective.
But the leather thimble! Wow! I'm a little sad for my bright pink thimble, but I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking with this leather one from now on. Mine is by Clover (though other brands make them as well), and comes in three sizes, which is very important since a lot us said last week that a poor fit was the first problem with thimbles in general. Some also said that metal thimbles made you unable to feel what you were doing and that was a deal-breaker. I'm sure we'll all agree that we can somehow tell by the way the needle feels on your finger if a stitch is right. This is the major advantage of the leather thimble, I could absolutely still feel my needle properly.
The only thing I could possibly call a disadvantage is that it will take a little time to break in properly; because the leather is new and stiff right now, it prevents natural finger-bending, which is pretty important. But normal use and a little extra scrunching will take care of that.
Leather thimbles aren't cheap, though I personally call that money very well spent, but I do remember once reading a tip (I have no idea where now!) that you could cut the top 1.5" off the finger of an old or thrifted leather glove. That won't give the same degree of extra padding, but it might be a good way to try it out.
Although I seem to have found the thimble of my dreams, there is one more thing I'd like to try out eventually, as suggested by blog and Facebook commenters. Several of you said that you don't use a thimble, but do protect your fingers by wrapping the stabbed / pushing areas with various types of medical tape. This won't effect the sense of touch you need for stitching. I couldn't believe the simple genius of this idea! I'd especially like to try it for the areas I stab into - it could be an easy fix for a painful problem!
Thanks everyone for participating in this discussion. I hope we've managed to find and share some good ideas for keeping your fingers safe!