Collecting Thimbles as a Hobby

By: Thomas Gold

Do you know what a digitabulist is? Thimble collectors are known as digitabulist and collecting thimbles has become both a very interesting and often addictive hobby. These small caps, or thimbles,are worn over the fingertips in order to protect the fingers when sewing, quilting and doing any kind of needlework. Its primary function was and is as protection for the finger when pushing the needle through the cloth while sewing.

Although thimbles were to help the seamstress during sewing, as time went by some of these thimbles became keepsakes in their own right; made from diverse metals as well as being decorated with different markings that show their origin or if a certain designer used it. Some designers would go further, producing intricate designs not just on the expensive metal thimbles but also on the cheaper and more affordable ones.The artwork as well as small pictures might be added to the surface to make them more distinct, appealing and as a calling card to draw in more business for their tailors as well as people looking for their unique thimbles.

Through the years, a variety of materials became thimbles – metal, wood as well as enamel and even rarer items such as jade, or ivory. Even these were personalised with paintings or engraving to make them unique – each different in their unique way and prized by collectors because collecting the little finger caps had moved into the area of affordable collectibles and antiques for just ordinary people.

Now that thimbles are collectibles, you can find them for almost any event or place in the world. From the Royal Family to commemorative thimble designs and from all types of materials from enamel to porcelain, China and ceramic. In addition, this is when a new collector needs to make a decision of exactly what you want to collect. Your favourite pets, places you have visited. How about National Parks, major UK cities or special events? In addition, if you really want a great choice of thimbles and accessories go browsing online at stores such as the Thimble Guild, one of the UK’s leading istes for those who collect thimbles.

The infinite numbers of thimbles available to collect will make it even more of a thrill to personalise your own collection, as there will be no one in the world who will have one like yours. Your collection will be exclusive, this makes it a paragon for you and your family and can become an heirloom to be passed down to your grandchildren, and they will add their own touch to a growing collection.

Another decision that you were going to need to make is how you are going to display your collection of thimbles. There are different types of special display cases that are built especially for the display of your collection and again, the Thimble Guild will have a great selection to meet your exact requirements.Displaying your thimbles can be a fun and attractive way to let everyone know of your hobby.

It is very easy to begin a thimble collection and you do not need a lot of money to start collecting them. In addition, because of the internet, sites including the Thimble Guild will help you look for thimbles for your collection. If you want to find the “older” thimbles, you will often find them in antique shops or, sometimes, at car boot fairs.

However, be prepared to be hooked on this hobby – as you learn more about the unique and true gems that a collector can sometimes just stumble. You will become a bona fide digitabulist and will likely begin looking everywhere you are for that special or one of a kind thimble.

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The Thimble Guild was founded in the world heritage village of New Lanark in 1983 and in 1985 moved to the historic town of Biggar south west of Edinburgh. Before moving again in 2009 to the peaceful market town of Brampton. Visit if you are interested in thimble collection and looking to find help in thimble collecting.

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