Thursday, February 11, 2010

vintage sewing notions cache (and how to identify bakelite)

it's not quite a motherload, but it's pretty close! with all this moving, a few of the things i've been meaning to post in the shop have been hiding on me (um ok, you could just say i haven't unpacked the boxes but let's not start pointing fingers here!). I was rooting around today looking for something else entirely when i stumbled upon my cache of vintage sewing notions. I found these at some neat little junk shops on a crazy roadtrip down to athens, ohio last spring where we crashed at a friend's farm after another friend's wedding in columbus.

(a little bird walk: i'm remembering now that a group of us headed to the reception for this wedding got utterly lost in downtown columbus and so when we saw a wedding party pull in to this place in the vicinity of our directions, we sighed a great sigh of relief, parked the car, went straight to the bar for drinks, looked around...turns out, it was decidedly not our wedding, whoopsie daisy!)

ok back to this cache now...i do believe those two big yellow buttons just might be bakelite! In high school, i worked at an antique shop after school and on weekends. yes, picture a 15 year old who knew all about antiques—you guessed it, i was sooo popular! i used to know all this kind of stuff like the back of my hand thanks to the wonderful couple that owned the store and took me to every estate sale and auction they could to ed-gu-mah-cate me! I can still recognize certain pottery marks, jadite patterns, and furniture styles but i'm going to have to do a little testing on these buttons.

If you are out antiquing or thrifting, here is how you test for bakelite: take the piece and rub fast on a small area of your clothing. at this point someone is probably going to give you a strange look, but keep rubbing for about 30 seconds or until it gets warm. then hold it up and smell it. no seriously, take a good whiff! more strange looks will ensue, but if it is bakelite, it's going to smell a bit odd like the stain you use on furniture or a strong chemical cleanser. you can learn more by going here. someday, this information in my head is going to prove worthwhile, until then, humor me, won't you? :D


cabin + cub said...

great collection!

in my late teens, i used to work as a tour guide in an old victorian house museum downtown.... yah, so with you there with the the antiques! haha

geschichtenvonkat said...

did you really? so cool! my first job was at this recreated frontier town near flint, michigan. I had to wear a prairie dress everyday which was cool at first since i was OBSESSED with laura ingalls wilder but as the summer wore on, it was just plain hot cuz they aint got no air conditioning in frontier towns! ;)

Etsy Studios said...

I am going to give the "sniff" test to my vintage buttons and check it out!
Thanks for the information.