Used for sailmaking. The Palm is known as a sailmaker's thimble. It is a ring or strap of leather with a thumb hole, worn around the hand. It has a dented metal plate which is used to hold the back of the needle steady while pushing it through the tough canvas or rope. The plate on a Roping Palm has larger indentations than that of the Seaming Palm because the needles used for roping are coarser.

Physical Description

Leather strap with stitching, thumb hole and metal insert with seven indentations. Thumb hole has extended leather guard, also used for wrapping twine to tighten.


This object is part of a collection of hand tools and materials, related to the trades of shipwrighting and sailmaking. Shipwrights and sailmakers were a very important trade for the construction and maintenance of water transport, such as paddlesteamers and sailing ships. The early colony of Victoria relied on the skills of these trades for construction of new vessels as well as their ongoing maintenance.

There are close to 7000 objects, documents and images related to the Trades Collection, which is primarily a collection of the tools associated with various trades, such as baking, blacksmithing, bookbinding, boot & shoe making, bricklaying, broom making, butchering, carpentry & woodworking, coachbuilding & wheelwrighting, coopering, coppersmithing, drafting, founding & moulding, gardening, glazing, hairdressing, hat making & millinery, jewellery making, knife & blade sharpening, leatherworking, metal working, organ building, painting & decorating, patternmaking, plumbing, printing, saddlery, shipwrighting, stonemasonery, tailoring & dressmaking, tiling, tinsmithing, tool making, undertaking, upholstering, wig making, and woodturning.

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