State Normal and Industrial School (now UNC Greensboro) once offered sewing classes for the young women attending the school. Along with preparing students to be teachers, the school's Domestic Science Department was also concerned with fostering the skills necessary for women to become good wives and mothers. No doubt sewing could be a useful skill to have during the early 20th century. The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is fortunate to have three of these sewing books created by students in the late 19th century.
|Three examples of sewing models sewn by hand in 1895-1896|
The three sewing books were delivered to Preservation Services so that we might devise a way to keep the pages as intact as possible while also stabilizing them. The goal is for these books to be used with classes visiting SCUA. Unfortunately, the substrate pages of the albums are quite discolored and brittle due to the acidity of the paper. Nonetheless, the sewing samples are incredibly intricate and interesting, especially considering they were all sewn by hand. Though there was not much we could do in house about the condition of the substrate pages, we were able to create post binders to better protect them. We also elected to leave the metal fasteners and pins that were securing the sewing samples to the pages because the pages were too brittle to remove them.
|Left: Spacers cut from museum board, Center: Drilling holes with |
the drill press, and Right: A preview of the spacers between the pages
|The assembled post binder|
|Additional views of the assembled post binder|
|An open view of the post binder|