Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Welcome to my blog

Last week Craftgossip generously featured my last post, in which I listed links to my previously published posts about "how I make my thimbles" so that you could find them easier and friendstitch listed a link to it, too.  Thanks to these two wonderful sites (if you haven't visited either of them, I strongly suggest you do so now.  You won't regret it, I am sure) I received a great number of the visitors and I would like to welcome those of you who have chose to return to read my post, again.

Let me introduced myself quickly.  My name is Chloe Patricia and I live in Japan.  I am a thimble maker (not for a profession, of course) and I make the kind of thimbles in the photo above.  Not looking very much the thimbles you are familiar with, I know.  Japanese thimbles are traditionally ring shaped and not a cap.  There are metal and leather thimbles (also in ring shapes) but Japanese people have been making their own thimbles at home, re-purposing leftover fabric and threads. 

The thimbles I make are the most elaborate form: stitched all over with silk threads.  With less and less people who do dressmaking and kimono sewing, along with factory made metal thimbles, this kind of thimbles were almost extinct after World War II until several years ago it was re-discovered.  They are highly decorative but they are still a working tool, too.  Since the core of the ring is paper, it's pliant enough to re-shape itself to conform your finger as you are wearing it while it's sturdy enough to help you pushing the needle without pricking your finger.  
It requires a little getting use to to make your own, but as I showed you in the previous posts (you can find the links to these posts in my previous post) it's not very difficult once you got the basics.  I would like you to remember that these posts are not tutorials.  They are merely the posts which show you how I make my thimbles.  Please also remember the ways I showed you are not the only ways.  There are other ways and possibly better ways.  If you are happy with the way you do, please stick to it and tell me about it so that I will consider converting to it. 

If you are not quite sure if this kind of thimble making is really your thing, or you would like to try it first quickly before fully committing to it, I have a kit at my Etsy shop.  The kit includes a finished thimble base with starter stitches done and an instruction booklet, so that you can just thread the needle (also included) and carry on stitching.  It takes about two to three hours to finish it. 

I also host a photo sharing group at Flickr where you can share the photos of your thimbles (or anything else you made using the same technique) with the rest of the group, or any other visitors for that matter.  By the way, we have a new member recently there and PokiPaws (alias of the new member) shows us her first and second thimbles.  I am amazed that although she used DMC's 6-strand embroidery floss, the finish has luster as if it's silk or rayon.  It made me wonder if I should re-evaluate the value of the cotton floss.  My photo sharing group is not a contest; I merely wanted to give my fellow thimble switchers a place to show off their work when I started it and it remains the same, no critics either.  The primary rule, aside from the thimbles you upload the photo of have to be your own work, is for you to mention the size of the mould on which you formed your thimble base and the material you used.  The size of the mould does not have to be very  precise.  Just measure the circumference of the tube you use with a measuring tape, either in inches or millimeters will do.  

I love to hear from you and if you have a question about thimble making, please don't hesitate to ask.  You can leave the question as the comment or e-mail me.  You should be able to find my e-mail address at my profile page.  It may take for a while but I will try to answer it. 


  1. Thanks Chloe for reintroducing yourself and the thimble again. I'm pleased to say that I have mastered the basic thimble making through your blog. Because of my love of Japanese textiles and a couple of visits to Japan I'm now organizing to take a textile tour back to Japan in Spring 2012. I hope that in the future we could visit you in Kyoto and do a workshop with you - Hugs Nat

  2. Gorgeous thimble in the first photo- Love the colors ;)
    Thank you so much for sharing your talents !!!