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  • Lynne Hudson

    Beautiful cloth and images.

  • Marryam Lum

    These images are part of a show called Threads of Feeling that just ended in March, at The Foundling Museum in London. Here’s the story: During the late 18th century women who, for whatever reason, couldn’t care for their babies could bring them to The London Foundling Hospital. The idea was that the hospital would care for the babies until the mother’s were ready to come back and get their children – sadly, many of them never did. However, in hopes that these women would be able to return one day, they put a system in place. No names were recorded, instead each mother left a piece of fabric that was unique in some way. Part of the fabric was left in the baby’s file, and the other piece was taken by the mother. This would prove which baby was hers when, and if, she returned. Over 16,000 children were left there between 1741 and 1760. These beautiful, and unbelievably sad, images are from the hospital’s records during that time… are you crying yet? Yep, me too.

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Isabel Crane by Aria Nadii, via Flickr Threads of Feeling Exhibition

The Threads of Feeling online exhibition Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square London

Threads of Feeling: "...an exhibition illustrating the story of abandoned babies left at the Foundling Hospital, London, the first home for abandoned children. Between 1741 and 1759 any children that were admitted to the hospital were left with a token, often a small scrap of fabric which identified them with the mother. "

Foundling Museum, London Threads of Feeling Exhibition : 18th Century Textile Tokens left with Abandoned Babies at the London Foundling Hospital.

wooden spools of thread

oh the colours... photograph by _cassia_ on Flickr

I love love love this. I would much prefer to store my thread this way. The small skeins are great until you start pulling them apart. Then they become a tangled mess! This is just beautiful and practical.

Threads+of+Feeling+Foundling | Threads of Feeling: 18th-Century Swatches