Greenberg and Hammer

Greenberg HammerWelcome to Greenberg and Hammer. A web resource for sewing, costumes and notions. This website is meant to be a resource for notions and dressmakers supplies to theatre and wardrobe rooms, department stores, costume shops, home sewers, dry cleaners, dressmakers, institutions, designers, tailors…. and you!


Wikipedia defines sewing as the process of attaching or fastening objects using stitches made with thread and needle.  Sewing is a member of the textile arts and is considered one of the oldest forms – believed to have originated in the Paleolithic Era.  Scholars believe that sewing came before yarn spinning and fabric weaving.  It is thought that Stone Age people from parts of Asia and Europe “sewed” skin and fur clothing using rudimentary tools made out of bone, antler and ivory.  The thread for their sewing consisted of animal parts such as catgut, veins, and sinew.

Sewing is widely used across a variety of industries much broader than clothing and household linens.  These industries include upholstery, shoemaking, athletic goods, sailmaking, bookbinding and others.  Sewing is considered a foundational process that is useful for many textile arts such as embroidery, quilting, appliqué, patchwork and tapestry.

Early sewing was performed all by hand.  Hand sewing lasted for thousands of years.  In the 19th century the sewing machine was invented.  In the 20th century, computerization dramatically altered the sewing landscape.  Despite these changes, hand sewing is still an art form practiced throughout the world.  Hand sewing is often seen as a sign of creative and artistic expression and is used extensively in high end tailoring, designer fashion and custom dressmaking.

Costuming refers to the design, creation and wearing of costumes.  To create costumes, a variety of hard to find parts and notions are required.  The word costume sometimes refers to dress and wardrobe in general but may also refer to a style of clothing or dress belonging to a specific people or time period.  Sometimes a costume also refers to an artistic arrangement of accessories in a play, poem or picture.  This arrangement is typically appropriate to a specific time period, place or circumstance that is being portrayed.

Costumes are heavily used in movies, theater, and TV.  Costumes are often instrumental in helping actors portray their characters’ age, gender, profession, and personality.  Costumes are also critical for relaying information about the character’s historical period, location, season and other factors.  Uniforms, such as those used in post office jobs, are considered a specialized form of a costume.  Theatrical costumes can also exaggerate specific aspects of a character’s personality for dramatic effect.

Costumes are also used extensively in national or regional roles to emphasize some unique attributes of a culture (such as a Scotsman’s kilt or a Japanese Kimono).  Many holidays and festivals have costumes associated with them.  Christmas, Easter and Mardi Gras all have costumes which help define the events.  Children also make extensive use of costumes in the games and role play.  Many times these costumes are inspired by shows and movies they see or professions that intrigue them.

You don’t need to take an IQ Test to understand notions! The collection of small objects and accessories associated with sewing and haberdashery is referred to as notions.  Notions can refer to both small tools used in sewing as well as articles that are sewn on to finished articles.  Notions can refer to buttons, snaps and collar stays as well as thread, pins, and seam rippers.  The word notions is always used in the plural and is mainly used in the United States (sometimes referred to as Yankee notions).  Notions can include items such as:
Appliques, Bag Boutique, Belting, Boning,Bust Pads,Buttons, Chalk, Cleaning Fluid, Cleaning Gadgets, Cording, Corset Stays , Craft Accessories, Doll Notions, Dress Forms, Dress Shields, Dye, Elastic, Eyelets & Eyelet Tools – Kits, Fabric Treatments, Findings,Flowers, Garment Shields, Glamour Rings, Glue , Grommet Tools, Grommets, Hanger Accessories, Hangers, Hooks-Eyes-Bars, Horsehair,Interfacings, Iron-On Embroidery, Jeweled Ebony,Knitting Supplies, Labels – Custom, Labels – Standard, Letters, Millinery Accessories, Mini – Doll Collection, Needles – Hand, Needles – Home Machine, Needles – Industrial, Needles Threaders, Pattern Paper, Pearl Buckles, Pens & Pencils,Pin Cushions, Pins, Pressing Equipment, Pressing Iron Parts, Rhinestone Settings, Rhinestones, Ribbon, Rulers, Scissors, Seam Binding, Sewing Baskets & Kits, Sewing Gadgets, Sewing Mach. Gadgets, Sewing Mach. Gadgets, Sewing Machine – Feet , Sewing Machine Knives, Sewing Machines, Shipping Supplies, Shoe Trees & Accessories, Shoulder Pads, Skirt Forms, Snaps, Steamer Parts, Steamers, Studs, Suit Fronts, Suspender Sets, Tagging Equipment & Supplies, Tapes, Template Plastics, Thread, Tools, Transfer Paper, Trimmings, Undergarment Accessories, Velcro, Vintage Notions,Waistbanding, Wardrobe, Weights, Wire, Wooden Spikes, and Zippers.