A Visit to Colonial Needle in White Plains, New York, Part 1

In December, I was fortunate enough to spend the morning with Tom Collingham, Vice President at Colonial Needle headquarters,in White Plains, New York. Not only did I learn a lot, which I am excited to share with you. 

Honestly, I also had way too much fun on that very frigid morning, learning about needles, thread and notions. http://www.colonialneedle.com/

Colonial Needle is more than just a needle company, which I never knew. They have an amazing thread division; Presencia, notions and some other surprises to me, which I will get to later, in Part 2 of this post. They sell mostly to small independent shops.

Tom Collingham, Vice President and his wife Jameson, are the third generation of this quality-oriented family business, which is the sole distributor of English needles in the U.S.A.

A little quick history first. Jim Collingham, CEO, and his wife Terry, President, (second generation) are very active in the business too.

The beginning of this story starts in Watertown, New York. (Very, very cold winters. Just below Canada). Mr. Brabant was approached by F.W. Woolworth, and asked if he knew where he could purchase needles for his store. In 1925, Mr. Brabant found a supplier, Colonial Needle, in England and started a needle business in the U.S.

The small business eventually moved to 11 E. 31st. Street in New York City, then to Yonkers in the early 1990’s. Jim worked there after school and during summer vacations. Eventually he bought the entire company, and in 1999 they moved to a larger space in their current building in White Plains, NY.

Throughout the years Colonial Needles acquired Roxanne Needles, S.Thomas, 
John James, Richard Hemmings, and Mary Arden. Interesting fact – Mary Arden was started by William Shakespere’s mother.http://www.colonialneedle.com/html/trade-tools.html 

Colonial Needle offers a wide variety of needles for quilting, sewing, machine quilting, darning, weaving, crocheting and knitting. I enjoyed these displays, which is part of their archives. There’s a lot to be proud of here!!

Okay, how many of you have trouble remembering that the higher the number of the eye of the needle, the smaller the eye of the needle actually is? And the shorter the needle? This pop quiz only applies to hand sewing needles.     I do!!

Below is a great visual to keep by your sewing machine.  I had to photograph this in three parts, close-up so you can read it, and it’s still not as clear as I would like. I will find a camera or a scanner that will provide you with the entire chart all on one page, clearer, and re-post. It’s so helpful.

The very kind and very smart team at Colonial Needle put together this incredible gift basket. We took a lot of photos, because it is so big that I wanted you to really be able to see all of it. And of course, our other cat Biscuit, Emma is featured on the masthead sitting on my sewing basket, had to check it out and, he loved it.
 In order  to win this beautiful basket, please leave me a message subscribe to this blog, and like Hudson Valley Quilts and Colonial Needle on facebook, and let me know that you did, in the comments box. Also, just for fun, tell me what city you live in and what the temperature is; this is optional. I’ll start. In Ossining, NY it’s 20 F, but feels like 12 F.
Please leave your e-mail address in the comments box, so I can get in touch with the winner. I will also post the winner on my blog on Sunday. This great offer ends on Sunday, January 12 at 12:01 AM.
Look for Part 2 of this post this by the end of the week.                 
In the meantime, for those of you who are feeling and experiencing this extremely cold spell,and icy weather, as we are in the northeast, STAY SAFE, STAY WARM, and QUILT.  Or at least wrap yourself up in a few 🙂

Happy Quilting!!