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Part of the laundry process also involved repairing linen and garments. Threadbare sheets were turned to the middle, collars reversed and woollens darned. Many repairs were done by hand, but some households were lucky enough to have a machine.

Needle cases were frequently works of art: Hand embroidered and often personalised. Even packs of needles from the haberdashery store would be beautifully illustrated or leather bound.  Thimbles could be steel or ceramic, although by the thirties they were often Bakerlite.

Darning was made much easier with the use of mushrooms. Usually polished wood, some would be decorated as mushrooms. Threads & darning wool would be needed and in the early days of stockings or nylons they would be darned using special thread for the purpose.

World War II saw a 'make do and mend' campaign from the Ministry of War where people were encouraged to repair and make clothes from whatever was at hand. Even old blankets would be fashioned into coats.


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