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Ike (Isaac) Merchant

Reproduced by kind permission of the National Waterways Museum.  Ellesmere Port.  

Acknowledgement: The Waterways Trust/The Boat Museum Trust.

Narrowboat side clothes being worked on at Nurser Brothers Boatyard at Braunston

The sheets are made by sewing together strips of canvas to make up the size required;  adding reinforcing pieces on the corners.  Hems are turned on most sheet edges.  Ropes and eyes can be sewn in as needed.  Originally canvas work was done by hand.  In order to force the needle through several layers of canvas, sewing was done with heavy needles and a palm.  The palm is made of leather and has an indented metal plate to help push the needle through the canvas.  From the late 1800’s sewing machines were introduced.  These were worked by feet on a treadle or by electricity.

     © Graham Nurser 2012