Original 1940's 'DARN-A-LITE' Illuminating Mushroom
An original vintage DARN-A-LITE mushroom aka the 'Glow-in-the-Dark' darner.
These magical light-up mushrooms were produced in England in the 1940s to help women repair clothing at night during WW2 when blackouts were widespread.
A mini bulb and battery sits in the stem which when activated illuminates the cap and makes it glow!
Sadly the specific type of battery required to make this work are no longer in production, however I have found a seller on eBay who creates something similar that works! I am happy to supply you with one of these non-rechargeable batteries, or you're welcome to purchase one separately here!
If you'd rather not buy a battery then you could always try using a mini set of fairy lights under the cap, or pop a mini torch in the stem instead.
And if you're really not bothered about light-up feature, simply use the hollow stem as a handy place to store some needles.
All of these preloved mushrooms are lovingly sourced from vintage markets and charity shops.
Three colour options are available: pink, green and yellow.
Each mushroom has it's own 'character' - surface scratches, small marks and/or some discolouration from it's previous life, but is still in usable condition.
We test each one to make sure it still works* and replace any old bulbs with a brand new one. We also give the Bakelite (an early version of plastic) a quick spruce up with a gentle cleaner.
Height - 11.5cm
Width of Cap - 7.5cm
History of the Darning Mushroom
This darning tool was an essential item in 19th and early 20th century household as self-reliant women often had to make and repair all their clothing. They were commonly made using wood as it was widely availiable and not too expensive, but following the invention of early plastic many were made using Bakelite.
They made it much easier to stitch a repair: not too tight and not too slack. The top part of the mushroom was placed behind the hole to hold the darning area taut for working. Its 'stalk' with the rest of the fabric around it, was held in one hand and the darning needle was worked with the other hand.
There are various types besides the basic darning mushroom. A darning egg (for socks and tights), and a darning stick (for gloves). Some are made with detachable handles so you can store a few needles and a small amount of thread which is easily to hand an emergency!