When I think of Coats and Clark I think of thread. full stop.
But for this post I thought I should find out a little more about them. After reading many articles about the [surprisingly fascinating!] history of thread it turns out there is a reason I think of thread when I hear Coats & Clark: they invented it. No really!
Let’s go back, let’s go waaay back to the Napoleonic Wars at the beginning of the 19th century. In an effort to defeat the British, Napoleon blocked anything coming in to or going out of Britain’s ports. It was called the Continental Blockade and it cut off Britain from the rest of Europe completely (even the mail was stopped!). At the time people sewed with silk which, with a trade embargo in place, quickly became incredibly scarce and extremely expensive. [cool fact: smugglers would paint their ships matte black to sail into ports unseen.]
Patrick Clark, an owner of a loom shop, came up with the idea to twisting the cotton yarn used for weaving into thread that could be used for sewing. In 1812 he and his brother opened a cotton thread factory. They wound their thread on spools, which was revolutionary at a time when thread was sold in hanks (like yarn is today). Just think, we might have been buying our thread by weight instead of by the spool had it not been for Clark. Soon after Clark opened his factory, James Coats opened one too and became famous for their 6-strand cotton thread.
By the middle of the century home sewing machines were becoming common. Clark came up with a new thread for a new kind of sewing: cleverly named Our New Thread or O.N.T. Both companies came to America and continued to grow their businesses. The two companies merged at the turn of the century. Over the last hundred years, Coat & Clark has continued to adapt and thrive.
So when Coats & Clark says:
For over 200 years, Coats has been the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer. Since the early 1800’s, our history is interwoven with many key innovations dating back to the beginnings of the industrial revolution. Coats manufactures a wide variety of threads to meet every sewing need.
They are not just giving you a spiel. They really were part of many key innovations that changed sewing forever! And they continue to innovate and change with the times. In 2008 they introduced a new kind of thread:
Advances in spinning technology allow us to offer you Dual Duty XP®, a consistently strong, smooth thread for trouble free sewing. Consistent tension ensures excellent stitch formation. Available in three weights – fine, general purpose and heavy. XP – The ‘Xtra’ performance threads for the 21st century.
And all this thread could be yours!
Coats & Clark is giving away 50 spools of the Dual Duty XP thread to one lucky winner. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter by October 24. This giveaway is open to international entries, void where prohibited by law. Winner will receive one pack of 50 Dual Duty XP thread.
Good Luck and Happy KCW!