Antique Treen Sailmaker’s Liners

The golden age of sailing lasted from the 16th century to the mid 19th century, by then more competitive steam travel had been introduced, culminating in the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and heralding the end of commercial wind powered sail.

Prior to the mid 1800’s the commercial sailing boats powered by wind had a vast and elaborate system of canvas sails made from hemp and flax fibre. Hemp was able to withstand salt water and the forces of the oceans. Flax canvas was made from double weave to withstand rough usage. The seams in the sails had lines of waxed stitches which had to be pressed and rubbed into the canvas using sailmaker’s liners, usually having V shaped sides or ends.

Antique treen sailmaker’s liners or presses were made from one piece of wood usually a hard dense wood like lignum vitae. Sailors used to make their own tools and can be found with hearts, knots, initials, names etc

Great items to collect reminding us of our sea faring past.

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We first became involved in Antique Treen and furniture some twenty five years ago and since then a passion for Treen, small wooden snuff boxes and decorative wooden items has developed into Opus Antiques.

This web site shows only a  small selection of our current stock for sale, if you are looking for something you don't see, please contact us.


We are also interested in buying Antique Treen items. As well as using our Contact page, you can also email or telephone us on 07941 285532


The word Treen is derived from the word tree and is a term used to describe wooden household objects, all turned from one piece of wood e.g. a bowl, plate, gingerbread mould, and spoons, always having a function.

Nowadays when we talk about Antique Treen it tends to cover all small wooden items including antique snuff boxes, candle stands, spice towers, etc. often made from several pieces of turned wood.


When a piece of wood has been painstakingly turned or carved, handled, polished and loved over a few hundred years old, it can develop a wonderful colour and patina and becomes an irresistible piece of Antique Treen.

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Address: Bath, Somerset       Contact Telephone: 07941 285532       Email: