Needlemaking (Paperback)

By John G. Rollins

Shire Publications, 9780852635636, 32pp.

Publication Date: September 23, 2008



This book traces the history of needles and the craftsmen who made them from early times through the ages to 1851, when William Bradbury, the last man to make needles entirely by hand, died and machine-made needles finally superceded the artifacts of the craftsman. It takes into account the forces that influenced the various developments in the craft from the use by primitive man of thorns as needles. The development of materials used by the needlemaker from wood and bone to steel is described and the story of the needlemakers themselves and their families through the years is recounted: their patrons and protectors, the districts and towns they made their own, with particular emphasis on the Redditch area, which became the main center of needlemaking in Britain, and the commercial pressure that molded their lives.

About the Author

The late John G. Rollins was born into a family with a long history of needlemaking. He had a lifelong interest in the history of the needle trade and has written a great deal about it. He traveled with his wife in Britain and overseas to search for more information about the craft.