On my recent trip to Melbourne I made sure that I paid a visit to a glorious shop called
L' Uccello. L' Uccello sells all sorts of vintage haberdashery and is a positive Aladin's cave for any textile or thread fanatic. Although the online shop is still in creation, you can visit their blog here to get a feel for what they do.
Before I go any further I would like to state that I was not paid or compensated in any way for writing this blog post. I am merely sharing a resource that I love and want to see thrive.
The photo above gives you a glimpse at the first impression on entering the store, a wonderland of colour, thread and fabric.
The store is located in Shop 5 on the second floor of the Nicholas Building which you enter from the Cathedral Arcade near the corner of Swanston and Collins Streets. The mood is already set as you enter the old world architecture of the arcade. An ancient 2 door manual lift complete with lift driver takes you up to the second floor. (Who wants to take the stairs when you can chat to a lift driver?) . The old world feel continues in the store with its dark wood panelling and lead light windows. The store is furnished with old cabinets and other novel fittings that complete the scene absolutely perfectly.
The store is packed from floor to ceiling so you need to look up or you will miss things like this fabulous seal lamp.........
...or pretty boxes piled high and a mini Ferris Wheel..........
...or even a pair of daring trapeze belles.
There are baskets everywhere containing lovely things like these old thread spools.
If I could have thought of a use for these empty wooden spools I would have bought some. I'm sure they could make a fabulous sculpture in the right, inspired hands.
The glass cabinets are so full of treasure that you must look long and carefully to take it all in.
There is a gorgeous variety of vintage buttons.
Everywhere you look, another photo opportunity.
And finally...what I bought there. 2 cards of beautiful buttons, some double ended green, white and red ceramic baubles, the true function of which I have no idea, but that I think would make great ear rings, and 5 Sajou thread cards featuring handsome cyclists (how appropriate, the Tour de France was on while I was there). I won't be using the cycling beauties as thread cards, I plan to make a necklace out of them.
These delicious thread spindles were too lovely to leave behind. They'll look fabulous in a decorative bowl.
And here was the best buy of the day and the bargain of the century! I spotted 2 spools of gold thread in a glass cabinet. I asked to see them and the shop assistant apologised that one of the spools was broken. I was delighted that it was so........
.....because I could see what a huge amount of thread was on them! I snapped up both immediately. These threads will be used in my next art work. I can't wait to play with them. Until then, I just gaze lovingly at them, savouring the anticipation of their use.
I also bought a LOT of embroidery needles as they had Bohin (my favourite) and John James (also good) in a huge variety of packs and sizes that I often find difficult to get down here in Tassie. They also had milliners' needles in a variety of sizes. I often find it hard to find sizes small enough for the threads I use.
So, if you are in Melbourne, you must pay a visit to L' Uccello. You'll thank yourself for it.
This blog was previously at another site. To view older blog posts please click here.
I am a hand embroidery artist living and working in the rugged and wild Central HIghlands of Tasmania.