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Instruction book - The National Society's Instructions on Needlework and Knitting
  • The National Society's Instructions on Needlework and Knitting
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The National Society's Instructions on Needlework and Knitting

  • Object:

    Instruction book

  • Place of origin:

    England (published)

  • Date:

    1838 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper, cotton, wool

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This instruction book was the first British publication of this type on knitting. 'Instructions on Needlework and Knitting' was a handbook for use in the Church of England charity schools run by the National Society. This particular book was probably a gift. It contains a letter from a Miss M.A. Smith to her governess thanking her for her teaching.

The pupils at whom this book was aimed would also have been shown how to sew and knit by a teacher. The instructions in early knitting books would have been difficult to follow for anyone unfamiliar with the craft. They did not supply information about needle size or which tension was best. Nor did they advise on how much or what type of yarn to use. Notation was not standardised, so the knitters would have relied greatly on their own judgement when interpreting these patterns.

Physical description

Instruction book for needlework and knitting. It includes samples of handicraft techniques including knitting, crochet, netting, sewing and embroidery. With a letter.

Place of Origin

England (published)


1838 (published)



Materials and Techniques

Printed paper, cotton, wool


Weight: 0.22 kg

Object history note

The first British publication of this type on knitting: 'Instructions on Needle-work and Knitting, As Derived from the Practice of The Central School of the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church, in the Sanctuary Westminster' 2nd edition, 1838'.

Descriptive line

Instruction book 'The National Society's Instructions on Needlework and Knitting' with letter and textile samples, published in England, 1838


Paper; Wool; Cotton; Wool


Hand knitting; Crocheting; Netting; Sewing; Embroidery


Household objects; Metalwork


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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