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Wash Silks from Brainerd and Armstrong Company

July 20, 2015


My friend Paula found an amazing box at a yard sale. I’m not much one for going to yard or garage sales as I don’t have the patience for it. But luckily Paula found a box of silk embroidery thread that must  have been from a retail establishment. Believe it or not, she paid a quarter (25 cents) for it.

It is from the Brainerd and Armstrong Company. After a little searching on Google, I found out that this company was in business in the late 1800’s until 1922 in New London, CT, USA. They made “wash silks”.

Wash silks were also called “society silks” and were used in silk art embroidery.

As you can see, the drawers are stuffed with little packets of thread. There are several different weights in a range of colors. I couldn’t resist and this box now belongs to me.

These packets have lots of information…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2015 3:05 am

    What a wonderful find. All those American silk threads. There are some good links on this site. All those different silk names. each one has a different purpose. Some are tightly twisted, loosely twisted or not twisted at all.Some of the silk threads that are named in Brainerd’s catalougue are: Filoselle, Roman Floss, Twisted Embroidery Silk, Rope Silk, Honiton Lace Silk, outline silk and darning silk. So much variety. Thanks Ruth.

  2. Barbara Fox permalink
    July 20, 2015 6:15 pm

    Such an interesting find! The silk threads are so lovely and the names seem to be instructional. And that fabulous storage box with drawers, quite a bargain. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Mical Middaugh permalink
    July 20, 2015 6:42 pm

    Amazing!! If they were used, would anyone appreciate what a find the fibers are? From the museologists standpoint, I would leave them intact.

  4. July 20, 2015 9:18 pm

    The threads are safe – I am not going to use them but keep them intact in their cool display box. Thanks for re-posting Gail!

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