The Mercedes of Measuring Tapes

So, I confess to having been caught up in the thrill of the Maiwa workshop and the very generous 20% discount coupon included with the registration. Even though my shelves and bins are bursting with supplies, I thought maybe there might be a few things to stock up on. Off to Maiwa Supply I went.

Oops. They are now carrying the Merchant and Mills line of notions. Pure fetish objects for the textile enthusiast. I was able to convince my swooning brain that I really didn't need a $60 leather needle case, no matter how understatedly elegant. But I couldn't resist the $10 measuring tape. Goodness knows, I have a house full of measuring tapes and can I ever manage to find one when I need it?

After I returned home and the fever dream had worn off, I looked inside my shopping bag to inspect the measuring tape. It is indeed the finest measuring tape I have ever laid hands on. That being said, as long as it's accurate, what's the real difference between the M&M and the 99 cent Fabricland model ?

Well, it's made in Germany rather than China. The metal tabs on the ends are particularly nicely finished. The tape is a little bit wider than the discount version, but oddly, it's not quite as long (150 centimeters or 59 inches as opposed to 152 and 60). Both are made of heavy plasticized material. Accuracy? Identical. I like the white on black look of the M&M Imperial side, but I can't say it's any easier to read than the Chinese cheapo.

Conclusion? I feel a little sheepish for having been seduced into such an extravagance, but I suppose there are worse impulse buys. And you can bet I'll be measuring the bejesus out of things to make sure I get my money's worth. That is, as long as it doesn't migrate to the mysterious drawer where all the other measuring tapes live.


  1. There are crappy tools, functional tools, fine tools and handsome tools. I think your measuring tape comes under both "fine" and "handsome". Use it with pleasure!

    My favourite 30+-year-old measuring tape is wide and soft but not stretchy and is so well used that some of the numbers are blurry. It lives happily in my sewing space where it won't get lost.

  2. I like the B&W sides so you know you're measuring from the same side when circling say a waist or whatever

  3. Sometimes nice quality is its own reward, and worth the extra money. I am a sucker for high end tools.

  4. i feel your pain, but sometimes we deserve that extravagance :) I am the proud owner of a 30dollar *pincushion" of all things, just because it's a Kemshall design......but it *does* get used!

  5. just tell yourself that you saved $50 by buying the tape instead of the needle case. We all need a little extravagance once in awhile. I frequently melt the ends of tapes with the iron so would likely fall for the Merchant and Mills pins.


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