Friday, February 8, 2013

ORT jar

This year I decided to keep the little ends of the threads I cut off, to give me a more visual image of how productive I have been stitch-wise (besides seeing progress on the actual designs, that it!). I have washed out an old coffee jar to use, and set it on my stitchy table. I figure I'll take intermittant pictures of it along the way, as long as some progress can be seen. I wondered what on earth was in there the other night when I saw it, and then remembered that I'd put in the glow-in-the-dark threads I used for Meg and Mog! Here's how it looks now:
When looking up an actual definition of orts, I found this explanation on - so it looks like stitching can almost be connected to witchcraft! ;) "An ort is a leftover bit of thread, or the last bit of thread before snipping and removing what's left from the eye of the needle when working embroidery projects, knitting and crochet projects, or a hand quilting or sewing pattern. No one really knows where the term originated, but some suspect in may be an abbreviation of a long-forgotten term. Some believe it's an abbreviation of old ratty tails or odd remnants & threads since it often applies to bits of fabric as well as thread. While most stitchers toss their snippets of embroidery threads into the waste bin after stitching, some embroiderers have saved their orts, offering them up to the backyard birds as nesting material or displaying them in clear glass jars to create a keepsake of their endeavors. The practice of making ort jars was probably inspired by witch bottles displayed in museums that contain knotted bits of thread and string. The saved fibers were intended to ward away evil spirits or protect the home from evil spells cast by enemies. To make your own orts jar, save your snippets of thread in a small dish as you work your project, saving them for your orts display. Once you have completed a project, place the bits of thread in a decorative glass bottle or jar. Small, clear antique apothecary jars, perfume bottles, medicine jars or bottles, empty spice jars (labels removed) or salt shakers, small jelly jars, or unusually-shaped jars look particularly pretty when filled with a collection of orts."


  1. Thanks for explaining the term 'orts' I was always wondering what it stood for. :)

  2. I wondered about it's origins too, which is why I looked it up :) Looking forward to seeing my jar fill up through the year too :D