Ivory sewing tools carved in c.1840.

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Most ivory sewing tools, such as thimbles, tape measures, needle cases, shuttles and pin wheels are all about the size of an average thimble (approximately 1/2in or 5cm long).

Some of these tools are still being used today as well as collected. These items should be seriously considered for exemption from the ivory ban as it is impossible to do certain types of needlework without them. Sewing Bees are increasing in popularity globally where these tools are demonstrated and enjoyed as they are all unique and not machine-made.

Bridget McConnel, author of online newsletter The Thimble Society, specialist dealer in antique sewing tools and author of The Story of Antique Needlework Tools