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Pin cushion

Pin cushion

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand knitted silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Rev. R. Brooke and the descendants of Hannah Downs

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This little pincushion was hand-knitted from silk in two sections in stocking stitch and joined at the seams. The name 'C. Osboldeston' appears in the centre of the design between two flowers. The owner would have attached it to her waist with the loop of braid.

The Industrial Revolution in Britain in the 18th century introduced mass production using machines. It transformed knitting, as it did many other handicrafts, into an automated process. Hand-knitters found it increasingly difficult to earn a living and knitting started to become a leisure pursuit.

Physical description

Round pincushion knitted in stocking stitch from silk. The name 'C. Osboldeston' forms part of the design, along with floral motifs. There is a length of braid attached to the pincushion.

Place of Origin

England (made)


18th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Hand knitted silk


Diameter: 2.5 in

Descriptive line

Pin cushion, hand knitted silk, English, 18th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hinchcliffe, Frances (ed.), Knit One, Purl One : Historic and Contemporary Knitting from the V&A's Collection. V&A, London, 1985

Labels and date

Hand-knitted silk and wool
English, late 18th to early 19th century.

Each is made of two circles, approximately 4cms in diameter, of patterned stocking stitch. Plaited and woven braids hide the stitches that join the two halves together and are made into loops so that the pincushions could be suspended from the waist.

Given by the Reverend R Brooke, 545-1864, and the descendants of Hannah Downes, T.31F&G and T.66-1970 [1985]




Hand knitting


Household objects


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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