Getting to Know Your Bodkin: Hamlet to Today

an introduction

Have you ever come across the name of a sewing tool and had absolutely no idea what it is? Well, for me, when I was learning to sew, the word “bodkin” was. What a strange word I thought of at the time, and I imagine many new tailors today are thinking the same thing. So here’s a little background on the fascinating history of the word and sewing tool known as the bodkin.

The term bodkin is very old and became very popular in the late 1500s and early 17th century when William Shakespeare used it in his famous play Hamlet (Chapter 3, Scene 1, page 3) to refer to a dagger or a knife:

That the patient’s merit is one of the things that are not worthy,

When he himself does his own calm

With a naked body? who bears,

To grunt and sweat under a stressful life,

Except the dread of something after death,

Bodkin is actually a term from the Renaissance that was used to refer to various sharp tools and in this phrase, it is clear that Shakespeare was referring to a dagger. So for many avid readers, bodkin is an old term referring to Shakespeare’s dagger.

know your body

dagger shaped hairpin

Later, the term bodkin referred to ornamental hairpins that were shaped and shaped like daggers. While a decorative dagger hairpin isn’t necessarily a necessary item in your sewing kit, it can be very useful if you want to make garments with laces or wraps on them, or you can just use them in your hair. .

know your body

Three styles of Budkins used in sewing today

However, in today’s sewing parlance, bodkin can refer to three different things. It may mean a sharp, slender, pointed tool that is very useful for making holes in fabric or leather. It may also mean a sharp needle with a large eye used to draw a strip or ribbon through an edge or loop. Finally, a bodkin can be a sewing tool much like a large pair of forceps usually with a metal ring that is used to keep the forceps closed while holding a piece of tape or tape.

Sharp and slender tool

For many experienced seamstresses who regularly work with thick materials such as leather and thick fabrics, the bodkin is very useful for making holes in such materials. After using this tool, you can then confidently sew your leather or thread through the holes you made with your body.

know your body

Large circular ring tweezers

Another common form of the podkin used as a sewing tool resembles a large set of forceps. The jaws of the tweezers attach to a piece of tape or tape while the grommet can slide down to maintain tension while holding the cloth. The tool can then be pulled through a sleeve or hem without losing the tape.

Truth be told, this kind of bodkin has got me out of the crowd on more than one occasion. Please see the article linked below looking at a more modern approach to this trusted design.

Giant sewing needle

By now you should realize that when we say bodkin, we can refer to a number of things. But to today’s seamstresses, I find it usually means something like a giant sewing needle designed to help pull things like tape or ribbon through hoops or sheaths. And if you don’t have a bodkin yet in your sewing kit, you should grab one of these handy sewing tools during your next visit to your favorite quilt store or buy it online. Some suggestions are presented below. And the next time someone talks about a body, you already know what they’re talking about!

Here are some of the most popular podkins being sold today:

For more information on bodkins, please check out our article on gadget tips titled Budget or Quality: The Bodkin

If you want to support our site

If you would like to help us continue to offer a wide range of free sewing patterns and projects, please consider purchasing a coffee for us. We really appreciated it.

Leave a Comment