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Pinking irons were used to finish the edges of fabrics in lieu of hemming, as well as to provide decorative embellishments for garments. When struck with a mallet, the iron cut through the fabric to produce a crisp, scalloped edge. This example, marked "IK" and "K-GHT" on its shaft, may be one of the "Com[plete] Sett of Pink[in]g Irons" that George Washington received from London in 1768. Skilled house slaves such as Oney Judge and Charlotte hemmed and made trims for garments and caps worn by Martha Washington and her daughter, Patsy, and most likely would have been familiar with the practice of pinking fabrics.


Pinking iron punch; short iron cylinder with flatted end at top and a semi-circular, notched, and fluted edge at its base.







Overall (H x W x D): 4 5/16 in. x 1 in. x 5/8 in. (10.95 cm x 2.54 cm x 1.6 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1958


Maker's marks, stamped along its length: "IK" and "K[illegible] GHT".

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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