Friday, 14 March 2014

Glove stretchers - a helping hand

In my mother's era (which my daughter assures me was The Dark Ages), everyone wore gloves and carried a handbag that matched their shoes. I don't think I have any accessories that match, they are all a random collection of scarves and gloves, usually designed to keep out the cold, and mostly lacking in any recogniseable style.

The most popular colour for gloves in the early twentieth century was white, which supposedly went with anything, but must have been a nightmare to keep clean. To keep them from dust, they lived in special glove boxes. Often the glove boxes had a space in the lid for glove-stretchers.

So what is a glove stretcher?

The most hardwearing were kid and leather gloves, but these turned stiff and wrinkled after washing, so glove-stretchers were needed to bring them back to shape. This is what they looked like, a sort of clothes-peg affair that you could push into the fingers.

This picture of some Victorian gloves with their stretcher came from, the auctioneers, and weirdly enough was right next to a 'lady's Pith Helmet.' (estimate £20) I have visions of an intrepid lady explorer wearing these gloves - but obviously it must have been somewhere where they didn't have OMO (see previous post) because they look quite grubby. Maybe she wrestled an alligator into a swamp or something.

I always fancied a pair of long evening gloves, but these needed to be powdered so they would be easier to get on and off.  For this you would use a glove powdering flask - a wooden container shaped like a pepperpot to hold talcum powder. I have often seen these at antique fairs without their lids, and thought they were some sort of odd little vase, but now I know what they are really for.

This picture below of these patterns for gloves to sew is from www.myhappy, so if you are hot with fabric, super-crafty or want vintage patterns why not pop over there and check out this great site.

In my last post I talked about going OMO (ok indie, if you must *sighs*), and paying for the copy-editing I needed. I'm not wealthy enough to stretch to that again for the proofreading, so I have asked for a helping hand (get it?!) from an army of writer friends to proofread my book and catch all the typos and glitches. Because I am hyper about spelling and apostrophes in the wrong places, and I am seriously fanatical about typos, I have gathered a small army to nit pick over the text. All those keen writerly eyes must be able to spot the things I missed. (Anyone spot anything in here?) So I am hoping that in the proofreading stage at least, many eagle eyes are as good as one professional.

Oh, and by the way, don't be expecting me to be saying 'buy my book' any time soon, these things take time, and I want to enjoy it rather than rush it. And from what I hear from indie authors, saying 'buy my book' is a fatal error, instead you should be engaging people. Well, OK, I said my post on gloves would be riveting, and it clearly isn't that, but it could be construed as mildly engaging.

'Construed,' now there's a good word.

My next post will be on 1950's Libraries - when librarians really did wear spectacles and ask you to keep quiet because 'other people are reading'.

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