Korean patchwork

I never imagined …

I never imagined that I would make a thimble.  This is a traditional Korean thimble, entirely made by hand.

The inner part is made of four layers of thick hemp – almost like burlap.  The face is about twelve strands twisted thread couched in a spiral with about four strands of contrasting thread.  The accents are silk and it is lined and bound in a lighter hemp.

The reverse side also has a face.  I did this one with more of a design, but I think I like the random one better.

The two sides are made separately and then joined with stitching.  You can see that I need practice on making the stitch line an even width.

It is a bit larger than a normal western thimble, but I have seen leather thimbles this size.  At first I was wondering if a fabric needle would really protect your finger at all, but when I broke a needle while I was making it, I realized how strong it actually is.  I suppose it would be possible for a needle to get through, but it would take a lot of force.  This one is merely for decoration, but I’m sure in the past they were utilitarian as well.  It is another demonstration of how Korean women kept and used even the smallest scraps.

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