I became interested in Corticelli silk thread when I acquired a box of it in an old sewing basket. If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a scavenger for everything sewing when I go to garage sales, estate sales and other purveyors of old things. Despite the vintage nature of the thread, as evidenced by the neat wooden spools, I could not believe the luster and the depth of the colors.
Since that first acquisition, I’ve amassed quite a little collection of these spools. Once you start collecting something, it seems as though the universe arranges for you to have more of it, or make you more aware of it, or something. Another of my interests is in advertising ephemera, particularly of the Victorian era. I started to notice ephemera related to Corticelli threads popping up on Pinterest, on boards related to sewing, crafting, and advertising history.
The company began in the 1830s in Florence, Massachusetts. Today, we certainly never think of Massachusetts, or any other state in the Union, as being producers of silk. At one time, this area was very much the center of sericulture in the US. At the time it was the Nonotuck Company. Some time later the name Corticelli was adopted. Corticelli was not the name of any of the principals in the company but is thought to have been adopted to create an association in the mind of the consumer with Italy, then a powerhouse in the silk industry, renowned for quality.