Display of domestic sewing tools

Free entry

This display examines some of the tools used in domestic sewing, which could be highly decorative in their own right. Often the only things that women could legally call their own, these tools reflected female status and accomplishment.

Before the advent of factory-produced clothing, sewing and knitting were everyday tasks, especially for women. These skills were a demonstration of feminine virtue, as the ideal wife or mother was supposed to provide for her family by making and mending household linen.

Displays complement our permanent collections; there are many free temporary displays around the V&A. They range in size from a single case to a room.

Metalware, Room 116