[ Home ]   [ Bobbins ]   [ Pillow Parts ]   [ Lacemaking Furniture ]   [ Lacemaking Accessories ]  
[ Sewing & Needlework ]   [ How to Order ]   [ Payment & Warrenty ]   [ Lace & Bobbin FAQ-tory]  
[ Supplier Links]  [ Bobbinmakers]   [ Museums, Org's, & Guilds ]   [ Upcoming Events ]  
[ Other Names of Lace]   [ Wood Definitions]   [ About me.]  
[Mail: Kenn@Bobbinmaker.com ]

How some members store their bobbins

Everyone has their own method of storage for lacemaking parifinalia. Here are a few of the ways people attempt to control it.
I have been curious for so long about the best way to store bobbins. All of mine are just thrown in boxes - the only rule I really go by is plastic in wood boxes, wood in metal tins. Of course the special and fragile ones are just tucked away and I look at them once in while. You know, this really is an obsessive hobby . . .

I wonder if any of you could let me know how you store your bobbins/divider pins/other paraphenalia. Is there some magical, wonderful storage method? How about for traveling? Do you handmake your bobbin keepers?

Also, what about bobbin holders on your pillows? I just use a piece of ribbon pinned down. I have seen some holders in the pictures, but then I've seem some pictures of lace on the pillows with too many bobbins to count - besides a steel mind and a perfectly orderly house with no interuptions, how do you keep those in order?

Renee Schroeder - Minnesota
Being a confirmed bobbin-a-holic, the pressure to find good storage for my bobbins is ever present. Last year, I bought two plastic sets of drawers at one of the giant stationary supply stores; they consist of six shallow drawers supported on a frame fitted with castors. I lined each drawer with felt and now my bobbins have a safe home when they are not on a pillow. The continentals get stacked and stuffed but the Midlands can be laid flat, roughly by maker and/or weight and can be easily seen. Probably 1/2 of my bobbins live on a pillow at any one time. No, it is not archival storage and I would not store thread this way but then again, this is only where they live when they are not coming or going to the next project.

There are many ways to manage bobbins once they are on your pillow and your question is sure to elicit a variety of responses from the list. I use the "tongue depressor fitted with elastic" trick for both Midlands and continentals; the little units can be stacked up and out of the working area and they are gentle to spangles. Mine also have tiny holes drilled in the wood so that they can be inched up the pillow and pinned down; this is handy when traveling as you are sure that no stress is put on the threads. I used to use knitting stitch holders threaded through the spangles themselves but I find that if you are working on a large project, the constant threading and rethreading through the spangles tends to weaken the wire.

Now, who do I see to go about getting that "perfectly orderly house with no interuptions" you mention?

Cindy Hutton, Norfolk, Virginia USA
I have to agree here..I am fortunate enough to have some old wooden file drawers...(they are made to take 5x7 file cards ). Of course you know that we bought this house with a corner that just fits the stacked files ( hee-hee I was not even making lace then) Thru the Grace of God and a very generous husband, I have many bobbins. I used only continental bobbins, each type has its own drawer. Some I have less of and I have divided the drawers in half, as they are very long, using good rigid cardboard. (this has lasted 20 years). This has worked very well. There is even a drawer for my tatting things The aantique and beaded bobbins, generously given to me, are in bobbin rolls and this is an ideal way to store these fragile beauties.

Archival? Well wooden bobbins in wooden drawers....should be okay ? As stated, it is only a resting place between projects.

So, Beginner's ALL...please keep up posted as to your progress. Learning is half the fun of lacing....good thing, too, as we never stop learning!

Barbara Engle in Louisiana
I thought pillows were the place to store bobbins. My wife keeps telling me she need another pillow and then more bobbins to go on it.

Jim Stavast - Oren, Utah
I use the plastic fish tackle boxes to store my bobbins - PLANO 3700 for general storage and PLANO 3600 for traveling. Both of these tackle boxes have moveable dividers. For the 3700, I use a divider in the very middle of each rows. This creates 8 sections. For the 3600, I don't use the dividers. This box has 6 smaller sections. Since the boxes are clear, I am able to see the bobbins/supplies that are in each section.

I have crammed at least 18 English Midland bobbins in each of the sections of the 3600. I use one of the sections for my miscellaneous tools - pricker, pin vise, scissors, divider pins, pin lifter/pusher, etc. I also use the 3700 to take my balls of DMC pearl cotton thread when I travel.

Since I mainly use the English Midland bobbins, I use the Spring knit stitch holders. I run the plastic rod through the spangles. I use them when I'm not working on my lace and to help keep the bobbins I'm not working with in order when I'm working on my lace. Before I discovered these holders, I used a strip of thin elastic through the spangles and then pinned the elastic to the pillow in several places when I wasn't working on my lace.

Vickie McKinney
Colorado Springs CO, USA
Here is how I store my bobbins. I have the largest fishing tackle box that holds three separate containers in its body. Hold 5 smaller containers in its top. In the larger containers I can separate into 12 division that are the perfect size for my bobbins w/ spangles. Also holds threads, and bobbin holders, divider pins and various other lace tools. In the smaller containers, also divided into 12 division, fit my tatting shuttles, 2-3 to a division. The nice thing about this box, is it versatility.

Bobbin holders: I use large clips, bits of ribbon, a crocheted bit to keep my bobbins place when traveling. Anything that works -- goes.

Dianna Stevens, Kent WA
Let's see....with 1300 lacemakers on this list, we should get about 1300 different ways to store bobbins.

For continentals, I use a multi-drawered tool storage unit. The drawers vary in width from 2 to 6 inches, and are about 5 inches long. Since the drawers are clear plastic, I can tell which kind of bobbin is in each one.

For midlands, I made a bobbin-holding case that was as compact as I could get it for traveling to Arachne 98. It holds a little more than 100 pair.

It is like a very fat book, with a zipper. Inside are 'pages' with pockets that will each hold one pair to a pocket. The case is fabric, with clear plastic for the outer part of the pockets. I can see the whole bobbin--not just the spangle hanging out of the pocket. The spangle end of the pockets alternates with each page so not all the spangles are on one side of the case. In the middle of the case is a little zippered bag that can hold some thread, scissors, etc. (The story of the construction of this bag was a series of trial & error that is too long for this message.)

Since I usually have several projects going at a time, this case seems to be able to contain any 'resting' midlands bobbins that I have on hand. And if I ever had all my bobbins free at once, I have no idea where/how I would store them.

Alice Howell in Oregon
I store my bobbins in cotton bobbin rolls and in two beautiful zippered holders made by a member of my guild when the bobbins are not in use. At the moment I have over 110 pair on my 24 inch pillow whilst I work on my point ground fan (10 pair are still hanging on my wooden holder awaiting their turn to get on the pillow), I have another 24 pair on my travel pillow and I just started a small project using some continental bobbins so I have very few in storage at the moment. I am corralling my bobbins on the pillow with the tongue depressor type holders and because I do not have enough of those I am also putting them on pieces of fabric and piling them up. Before I started doing that it took me longer to sort the bobbins out before I could get on to the business of lace making. I could always use another bobbin roll though or some more holders, (hint, hint, to the organizers of IOLI convention)

Janice Blair, Crystal Lake, Illinois 50 miles nw of Chicago
I must be spoiled, but I splurged on a beautiful oak mechanic's "tool" chest. It has many small drawers, lined with felt and is the perfect size for storing all manner of lacemaking tools, pins, bobbins, etc. Not only is it a lovely from the outside, but ahhhhhhh all those little drawers! I even store some spools of thread (in acid-free liner). It's about 24" X 12" (deep) X 18" high, and I bought it at a warehouse outlet (Costco). I guess if I was really spoiled, I'd splurge on an antique "Clark" or "DMC" spool cabinet. I've been watching those go for 4 figures on e-bay :( I also have a wonderful chest that's 4 feet tall, 13 inches wide and 10 inches deep with 18 drawers, from "Ikea" that I use for beads, wire, bobbin stock, and most of the small stuff in my catalog. It would be great for storing a variety of crafts.

April Lund - Bobbin Art
In Shoreline, Washington State, USA

Return to previous page
Go to home page.

This page was created by Kenn Van-Dieren
Copyright © 1998/2007 Bobbins by Van-Dieren; all rights reserved.