Hand-made Thread Winders


Exquisite tools to keep your threads in order


These exquisitely detailed thread winders have been created exclusively for me by the lovely Rachael Kinnison of Diamond K Folk Art, Colorado, USA. Rachael and I were teaching together at the Bath Textile Summer School. Rachael was inspired by my Wren Étui to create these stunning Wren thread winders to match, in her unique style, picking out the detailing of the stitch patterns in her ink and watercolour illustrations on wood. She then created the Butterfly and Leaf designs to complete the set.

Each also has the quote ‘Small Birds May Fly High’ in ink on the reverse. This was the original motto of the Royal School of Art Needlework when it was founded in the late 1800s. It was one of the key inspirations for me behind the Wren Étui as my training at the RSN gave me the wings to fly high with embroidery as my career.

Each winder takes many hours to create and is absolutely unique.

For more details on how Rachael creates her beautiful thread winders, see the Extra Information tab below.

Additional information

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Wren, Butterfly, Leaves and Caterpillar

Extra Information

I mill the hard maple wood for the winders myself, so several passes through the planer to start with. I then hand-cut each one to shape and sand, before painting each one in the early 19th century style commonly referred to as ‘School Girl Style’.  Early in the 19th century, first quarter mainly, girls were taught this style of art~ painting on wooden furniture ~ tables and boxes and such, as part of their schooling. The design is HAND drawn on to each with India ink, using a quill or steel nib dip pen. This must cure for at least 24 hours, or it will just wipe right off when I go to paint them. The design is then painted with watercolours.  One of the unique aspects of painting with watercolours is that they are translucent, allowing the beautiful grain of the wood to show through the paint. Each coat is quite thin, and care must be taken with subsequent coats that the previous layer of paint is not brushed off, so a lot of skill is needed to tell how much water will allow the paint to flow, but also be dry enough to not lift the previous coats. These winders have between 8-10 coats of paint to get the depth I like.  Coats must be fully dry before painting, so this adds a lot of time. Once finished, I let them cure for at least 48 hours before finishing. Finishing must be vaporised, as brushing on a varnish or lacquer will wipe the paint right off, literally. They get at least 3 coats of lacquer, with sanding in between to achieve the finished effect.



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