tatting Newsletter


December 4 2012 Tatting Newsletter

The Willimantic Linen Company, The American Thread and Star Needlework Booklets.

I have a very blurry page which lists many of the Virginia Snow Studio (Collingbourne's) needlework booklets. I was researching online trying to identify these titles and numbers when I stumbled across a few websites of thread history. I recognized one name from a photo I had been sent years ago. The Willimantic Thread Co.

I gleaned a few facts. Willimantic, Connecticut (a river town )USA, was the site of many early thread mills. The Willimantic Linen Company was started in 1854 by Lawson C. Ives and Austin Dunham. It processed flax into linen goods up to 1872 and then changed to processing cotton thread. Over the years that company produced several different types of threads, blends and even synthetics. They also had their own chemistry research laboratory which developed new dyes and colors.

The Willimantic Linen Company was then acquired in 1898 by the American Thread Co. which is so familiar to tatters and other needle workers for their line of Star Needlework Booklets. I read with dismay that like many other industries of the era, the American Thread Co. had a 12-14 hour work day during which men, women (at half the pay of men) and children (receiving but a pittance) produced up to 85,000 miles of thread each day. They were progressive in incorporating electricity into the mills while maintaining antiquated notions of adequate pay and working conditions. Strikes were held but failed to better the lives of the workers.

But for all their faults, the early mills did give rise to the many needlework booklets which we so enjoy today. There is a list of Star book titles online but I do not know yet if it is a complete list. (Any info most welcome.)

Today in Willimantic there is a great museum:
Windham Textile & History Museum
411 Main Street; Willimantic, CT 06226
Phone: 860-456-2178
E-mail: themillmuseum@gmail.com

Here is that blurry photo. If you can help identify the booklets, I would be most grateful for the info.

Here's the latest article from the Tatting site at BellaOnline.com.

Mailable Tatted Holiday Tree Greeting Card Here is a quick an easy project for the holidays. A tatted Christmas tree which can be mailed or scanned and used to print your own holiday greeting cards.


Please visit tatting.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Tatting. To participate in free, fun online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Tatting located here -


I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I thrive on your feedback!
Have fun passing this message along to family and friends, because we all love free knowledge!

Georgia Seitz, Tatting Editor

One of hundreds of sites at BellaOnline.com

Unsubscribe from the Tatting Newsletter

Online Newsletter Archive for Tatting Site

Master List of BellaOnline Newsletters

Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map