|East of India ribbon in the shop.|
Haberdashery is just one of those words. The type that make you giggle, the one that gets you a little tongue-tied. Its a little bit of a menace when it comes to fitting it in to things as its a bit on the long and gangly side. When I first opened the shop it even proved a bit controversial with a local retailer getting the hump with the fact that there was 'haberdashery' in the name. But to me the word has many meanings and connotations beyond threads and ribbon and needles. It creates an old fashioned atmosphere, an aroma of past times.
|Old shop interior (google images)|
Haberdashers were traditionally peddlers of small wares which did indeed include the above mentioned sewing articles. Here we associate it with someone selling sewing notions, in America a haberdashery sold mens clothing articles. There is hot debate among language historians as to the origins of the word. Did it stem from the German 'Habt ihr das' - have you this? or the French 'Haber d'acheter' - to have to buy. Or maybe from the word Hapertas, a medieval Anglo-French word denoting pretty wares or a specific type of fabric of the time.
|Chinese street vendor (google images)|
Needless to say it is the most wonderful word. It is happy and fun and is always a talking point. It conjures up perfectly the contents of my little shop. I feel like a peddler most days. I open my little box of wares and hope that within its confines people will find the items that they need or don't need. All is useful, all is pretty. 'Habt ihr das'? I probably do.
|Jar of trims.|