Sunday, 5 August 2012

I went in search of

"leather thonging" yesterday. The Senior Cat needed some for the small items he is making for someone else. He makes these on a fairly regular basis and they are used for charitable purposes so the thonging is important if not urgent.
The last time I bought some I obtained it from the Untidiest Shop - the one I have mentioned before. It was there on reels. You took it to the counter. They measured it, cut it and passed it over .
I pedalled off confidently and searched the shop. (It is very large.) Nothing. I asked. The girl on the other side of the counter did not even know what I was talking about. Another assistant frowned and said doubtfully, "There might be some with the beads."
I went and had another look. There were tiny plastic packets of much thinner, artificial material. You could get 1.2m for the princely sum of $3.99. I left it there.
There is a quilting and theatre fabric shop some distance away. I pedalled to that. The woman there was much more helpful in that she at least knew what I was talking about. "Try the internet?" she suggested after she had made a 'phone call to the only other likely source. I thanked her and we both agreed that, much as I would prefer to shop locally and keep the shops open, this would be the solution.
I pedalled home, searched and found what was needed. I sent a message to the person my father makes the items for. Did he want a reel?  He sent a message back to say that he would order a reel himself.
I was reminded though of the haberdashery store not far from the home of my paternal grandparents. It sold all manner of useful things not just the sewing things, fabric and yarn which were the real reason for its existence. I am quite sure that I can remember seeing reels of leather thonging in the far northern corner of the shop. I can remember buying some with my father for the small leather purses every child made at school. You were given two small pieces of leather. You marked the edges with holes measured at "absolutely equal" intervals and then you threaded the thonging through to hold the pieces together. I think the teacher put the fasteners on. 
There was no nonsense about 1.2m of skinny, artificial "stuff" in a tiny plastic bag. It was good, solid stuff you bought by the yard. It can still be bought but you have to go hunting for it and yes, it comes in yards rather than metres. I wonder why.

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