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Words Weaving New Meaning

Have you ever noticed how words can weave new meaning? These phrases are called idioms; a group of words that have meaning not directly related to the individual words. Many have been in use for hundreds of years.

Have fun reading these popular sayings whose words have original meaning in the textile and fabric trade.

A Stitch In Time

Dates back to 1732. Don’t procrastinate! Thought to originate from the mending of clothing. A stitch in time saves nine! One stitch now saves attending to many more later.

Has Me In Stitches

Has anyone ever told you a story that was so funny your stomach or sides hurt – like being pricked by a needle? The first recorded use of this phrase was in 1602 by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.

Thread of Evidence

As a sewing thread is very thin, this phrase gives visual meaning that there is barely enough information available to make a case to prove a point.

Like A Needle In a Haystack

Thought to be in use since 1532, this saying describes that it could take a very long time to locate something – like trying to find a sewing needle in a meadow of tall grass.

Spinning a Yarn

We all know that a yarn is spun from fiber, however a yarn is also “a tale”. Spinning a yarn means to tell or create a story, often a long one. It is a nautical term dating back to the 1800’s thought to describe the events occurring on the way home from sea.

To Cotton On To

Meaning to get along with or to have a good grasp. This idiom was born of the cotton industry and dates back to the early 1900’s. In the spinning process, when a fiber blends well with other fibers it is described as cottoning on.

Cut from The Same Cloth

Perhaps you have heard of friends described as being “like two peas in a pod” (another idiom). It means that they have very similar natures, opinions and characteristics, like being of the same piece of fabric.

Words weave new meaning all the time. Think about it next time you:

Herringbone” up a hill in the snow

Feel “Hemmed in” by a situation

Or are “Sitting on Pins and Needles” in anticipation of the next new Brahms Mount creation!!

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Classic Textiles Since 1983