A skirt marker

The items that arrive at a museum are varied and wonderful. This one (there is a part missing) has recently been given. It was, no doubt, deemed very useful in its day. Indeed, we believe similar items can still be purchased.

A Singer skirt marker at Market Lavington Museum

A Singer skirt marker at Market Lavington Museum

It is, as we can see a skirt marker produced by the Singer manufacturing Company. The device enabled dressmakers to get a straight hem line at the height they required on any dress or skirt they might make.

Inside the box there is a heavy metal base.

The base

The base

The base has a slot in it. The ruler (the missing part) fitted into this. The other part, the marker could slide up or down the ruler to the height required by the dressmaker. And here is that marker.

The marker

The marker

The red pot contains chalk dust and on the right side of it is the slot the ruler goes through. The white piece on top of the pot is the sprayer which can produce a horizontal line of chalk dust when the squeezy bulb is pressed.

So the dressmaker puts on her unhemmed skirt, stands next to the device and turns around gently squeezing the bulb. A line of chalk dust will be deposited on the skirt to mark where the hem line is wanted.

We think this dates from the mid-20th century and was used by a High Street resident of Market Lavington.

Does anyone have the ruler that goes with this?

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