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It's one inch tall, spends most of its time lost in a pocket, bin or drawer, and is your finger's only line of defense against the piercing tip of its arch nemesis, the needle. Have you guessed? We're talking about thimbles today. And not just any thimbles, I'm going to give you a rundown on my favorite and in general the best thimble you can strap on.
If you have been following my blog for a while, you might already know that I like to create hip and relevant posters about our sewing topics. (see: Universal Needles, Fixing Fabric Bleeds, Choosing the Right Batting, etc...)
I have a whole new poster theme I have been focusing on: LITTLE THINGS. Well, really, just thimbles.
There are so many great quotes about small things already, that I found all I have to do is throw plagiarism to the wind, and replace the words “little things” with “thimbles.” Voila! A new motivational poster! Or… SEWtivational poster. If you will. I’ve been working on that one for a while, too.
Okay, so it doesn’t ALWAYS work, but you get the picture. Thimbles are a big deal if you’re going to hand sew anything, or try to live life in this crazy world. You’re going to need at least one. Or five. Do I have a favorite? You bet I do. My thimble and I have been through a lot of near-death experiences together. (Am I being dramatic? What? No! Me?!) But I’ll save my fave for last.
Nope, I can’t wait. I’m going to tell you now what the best thimble is...
The Best Thimble in the Whole Wide WORLD!
As much as possible, try to ignore my weathered, wrinkly hand in that picture. I've had these worn-out looking hands since middle school. I inherited them from my father. MOVING ON.
My VERY FAVORITE THIMBLE, making it the obvious BEST thimble, is this Clover Leather Thimble. It’s not shiny or fancy, but it does the job well. Because the leather molds to your finger over time, after a few hours of sewing, it will feel like a second skin.
No, I don't wear three thimbles at a time, but I do want to show you the progression of this amazing leather buddy. The one on the left is fresh from the package and the other two have been working hard for about 4 - 6 months. You can see that they don't last forever, unlike some of the metal thimbles we'll discuss below, but even still, I adore them.
The first time I purchased one I made the mistake of getting a size too large. Keep in mind that the leather will stretch a bit as it is broken in. I have pretty small hands, my husband actually calls them puppy paws...but anyway, the size Small fits me perfectly.
The Clover Leather Thimble may be my favorite, but there are some other thimbles out there that have great reputations. Let’s split them into categories, so you can know what’s on the market before you choose the best thimble for your style.
The Best Grippy Thimble
You’ve seen a version of these before – maybe while sifting through your Mom’s old junk drawer, or playing Monopoly… metal thimbles are pretty common and standard in the sewing world. But have you seen the metal-rubber hybrid thimble?
These are designed to maximize on the strength of the classic metal thimble, while still gripping your skin and providing more comfort.
Before becoming a die-hard leather thimble gal, I purchased one of these because so many people seemed to recommend them. I think if I had stuck with it longer, I could have really liked it, however there is a learning curve to using this thimble and it would only work with certain stitches – ie. hand quilting and not whip-stitch binding.
Verdict: Try it out for yourself. You may be one of the many people who swear by this spacey, rubber thimble.
The Best Comfort Thimble
If we want to talk flexibility, these little guys have GOT it. They’re made out of a soft, pliable material that fits your finger like a glove… if gloves were made for just your fingertips. Fingertip gloves. I might patent that.
The Best Medieval Shield Thimble
So, I made up this category name myself, but I think it fits well. If your finger was a knight in shining armor, this would be its shield. This metal thimble will protect your finger from needles, and also from small jousting swords.
Below you can see that some times I like to combine thimbles depending on how long I've been sewing (ouch) and where I'm sewing.
The Best Beyoncé Thimble
Okay, I made up this category name, too. But if you like it, you better put a ring on it. These fancy, gold thimbles are like an engagement ring for you and your sewing project. It shows you’re committed.
Not Even a Thimble Thimble:
It’s not a thimble… or is it? These thimble pads are like stick-on finger force fields, so you don’t even need a thimble.
My aim with a needle isn't good enough to use these tiny pads, however I have watched seasoned sewists use them with with Yoda-like accuracy and it is quite impressive.
As long as it protects your finger and feels natural, your thimble is doing it’s job. I love the feel of the leather thimble. What’s your favorite? What are you anxious to try?