Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 4, Issue 5
   October 2009
 
   What Is It?
 



What Is It?Popular through the 19th century, sewing clamps were used to either hold fabric while stitching or to hold thread during winding. Mounted on a C-clamp, a spring-powered clip held the fabric or thread in place.

The first sewing bird patent was granted to Charles Waterman of Meriden, Connecticut, in 1853. Although Waterman's bird clamp was by far the most popular, the clamps came in a variety of designs.

According to his daughter, Mr. Waterman designed the bird to make sewing easier. Advertised at the time as having "health preserving" properties, these clamps allowed for proper posture while working over a piece of sewing. They acted as a third hand holding the piece of fabric taut, which allowed sewers to sit up straight rather than hunch over their work.

 
 
         
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