Tinsel was first invented in Germany during the early 17th century. The name of its inventor is not recorded. Tinsel was originally a metallic garland people used for Christmas decoration.
According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the word tinsel comes from the Old French word estincele, meaning sparkle.
Originally, tinsel was made of silver, using machines that pressed the metal into thin strips.
At first, silver seemed to be a good idea as it sparkled beautifully, but people soon discovered that it tarnished easily, especially with the smoke from the candles commonly used on Christmas trees in Germany.
Some people tried to make Christmas tinsel from lead and tin, but this was found unpractical, so silver was used for tinsel right up to the middle of the 20th century.
Artificial tinsel was eventually invented and it became popular and much cheaper to manufacture. Nowadays tinsel is made of plasic foil and aluminium.
At Novelties Galore we have a large selection of luxurious Christmas tinsel in many colours, including silver, gold, black, white, green and red. It is flying off the shelves, so make sure that you order on time for Christmas!