Sunday, December 03, 2006

Doily or Snowflake?

Think of doilies as snowflakes — no two are alike. This one, called Medallion, is from "Handmade Lace and Patterns" by Annette Feldman. The book credits D.M.C. Corporation for the pattern. Vintage pattern and vintage thread. I used J. & P. Coates Big Ball Best Six Cord, size 30, with US1 needles. The diameter is 11 inches. Looks like a snowflake to me.

My stash of vintage crochet thread includes some J. & P. Coats Big Ball and Clark's Big Ball. So who was Coats, who was Clark and how did they becomes Coats and Clark? In retrospect, the joining may have been inevitable.

According to Wikipedia and the Coats and Clark Web site, James and Patrick Clark had a loom equipment and silk business. When Napoleon blockaded Great Britain in 1806, silk was no longer available to weavers who had begun reproducing the rare Kashmir shawls of India. Patrick Clark developed a method of twisting cotton yarns together to produce a thread that could replace silk in the looms and replace linen and silk threads for hand sewing.

The Clarks opened the first factory for making cotton sewing thread in Paisley, Scotland, in 1812. A few years later, James Coats opened another cotton thread mill.

In 1830, James and Peter Coats purchased their father's mill. As the company expanded, it moved much of its production to America. Another member of the family, Andrew Coats, was sent to the U.S. to manage the business.

George and William Clark, grandsons of James Clark, opened a cotton thread mill in Newark, New Jersey. Five years later, the Coats family began manufacturing thread in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, selling under the name Spool Cotton Company.

In 1952, J. & P. Coats and the Clark Thread Co. merged to become Coats & Clark Inc.

1 comment:

Bridget said...

Oh wow, it IS a snowflake! And a very pretty one at that! (Where do you get the time to do all of this lacy stuff???)

Thanks for the lesson about Coats and Clark. That's right up my alley, and I love finding out this kind of thing. One time when I was in a fabric store, I heard one lady tell another that the "Clark" of Coats and Clark was the same as the "Clark" of Lewis & Clark ... wish I knew then what I found out today!