old wool coils

Found these wool binding coils at a tag sale.  They are obviously old, also dirty and partially moth-eaten.  I am not a really experienced sewer, and this kind of wool binding is not something I’ve ever seen.  What would it have been used for?  Upholstery? Blankets?  I’m going to use it for something, but almost certainly not either of those things.  The moth-eaten portions could be kind of interesting to layer with other fabric.  I’m thinking about it.

coils of wool binding fabric

One of these binding fabrics has something like free form embroidery on it. What would this had been used for?

8 Responses to “old wool coils”

  1. Robyn A Says:

    You could weave some together a la Jude Hill (I am besotted with that at the moment). From your photo they look to be folded over strips or are they tubes? Either way you could weave them together and then stitch them; can’t shed any light on the embroidery but it looks like chain stitch.

  2. DK Says:

    I have no idea, really, what they would be sued for and am curious to know myself if you find out. My best guess would have been for blanket binding. Or perhaps standing wool coiled rugs like those here: http://www.netw.com/~rafter4/stwool.htm

    • caro Says:

      Love the standing rugs. Haven’t seen those before. But I think these strips are intended as bindings because they are folded as bindings would be.

  3. Jennifer Says:

    What about braided wool rugs?

  4. helen Says:

    I believe Jennifer is correct. I remember ladies tediously , maticulously, folding strips to then turn into braided rugs and the freeform embroidery was probably left from the original garment. One also would lockerhook with folded cloth ,as such, which is pulling it through a mesh rug base with a hook that also has crochet thread on it to lock it in.

    • caro Says:

      Aha. Well that’s enlightening. I’m so pleased to know this. At least one of the coils has two different colors of wool fabric somewhat imperfectly attached together. Clearly handsewn. And the coils are held together by common straight pins inserted at irregular intervals into the coil. Unfortunately, these strips are so dirty that they must be cleaned just to use the fabric, so all the tedious folding and pressing and coiling will be undone. hmm. Perhaps I’ll wait until I know for sure what to do with them. Thanks for the info!

  5. Lora Says:

    You could wash after you braided. I’m in the middle of a big braided rug and I’m jealous of your find!

    • caro Says:

      They’re so filthy and moth-eaten from how they were stored that I’ve had to wash them just to work with them. Interestingly, they haven’t felted much. But right now I’m thinking I’ll weave the strips into a flat piece that will allow the moth holes to show on top of other solid pieces and will also allow for a good bit of stitching through the whole thing to hold the fragile fabric together better. Will post photos after the holidays when I have time to work on the idea.

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