Haberdasheries of Yesteryear by Frederique Crestin-Billet

Published: 10/19/2015 19:53:57
Category: Haberdashery Collectibles Rss feed

Just before relaunching Sajou in 2005, I published a book on haberdashery collectibles called “Ouvrages de Dames” (Ladies Fancy Work). It was highly successful and sold out quickly. At the time, the book generated an international interest for collectible sewing items. I was even blamed for pushing up the prices on vintage haberdashery goods. The book was translated in Japanese and I was often credited with introducing the word “mercerie” into the Japanese language!

Couvertures des deux livres de Frédérique Crestin-Billet

Left, the cover of the first edition from 2005.
Right, the cover of the new revised and expanded 2015 edition.

This book is back again with the title “Haberdasheries of Yesteryear”, published by Massin Editions in their “Essential Heritage” collection. It has been revised, corrected and expanded. More than 50 photos have been added and many of the texts have been changed, my spare time being spent delving into the history of haberdashery goods and finding out more details.

Double page ciseaux du livre Mercerie d'Antan

Extract from the scissor chapter. For the first edition, I had access to an absolutely
remarkable collection of embroidery scissors and thimbles belonging
to a charming man who has always preferred to remain anonymous.
He was a haberdashery wholesaler in Paris. His collection is now dispersed
but all these exceptional pieces can be found in the new edition.

In addition, this new edition is in both French and English, the translation provided by Carolyn Dew who has been by my side from the very beginning. We have observed over the years an international interest in our products as well as collectibles. Never a day passes without us receiving a request to translate an object, a technique, a skill… With this bilingual version, I hope to contribute to what is close to my heart: transmit a heritage, including linguistic, and encourage communication amongst enthusiasts the world over.

Double page dés à coudre du livre Mercerie d'Antan

Double page from the thimble and tape measure chapter.
Many new photos of thimbles have been added to this edition,
notably some wonderful models that appeared in my
“Mad about Thimbles” book (Flammarion, 2003).

Comme 

As with the original book, this one is formed of five chapters:

 

  1. 1 - Scissors and sewing sets, from the most modest to the truly elaborate;
  2. 2 - Thimbles and tape measures, not forgetting compendiums and thimble holders;
  3. 3 - Sewing and embroidery threads with their hordes of thread cards, labels, boxes, bobbins, calendars and colour cards;
  4. 4 - Small notions, including pins and needles, pin cushions, buttons, ribbons and laces;
  5. 5 - Pattern books and needlework publications. 
Double page du chapitre fils du livre Mercerie d'Antan

Extract for the threads chapter. As well as the numerous images showing
the incredible variety of these products, I have also researched into brands
that have now vanished. Often the only reference can be initials on the products,
which can be perplexing for collectors. Many of the answers can be found in these pages
where you will also discover different terms of this profession and the production process.

192 pages of pleasure for all those who, like me, are passionate about this colourful world of treasures.

Format 182 x 230, almost 500 photos.

Double page extraite du livre Mercerie d'Antan

Of course you will find vintage Sajou items in this book. Albums, of course, 
but also some surprising boxes of embroidery cotton, discovered only recently.

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Haberdashery book

Haberdasheries of Yesteryear,
by Frederique Crestin-Billet

in both English and French.

Livre mercerie de collection Mercerie d'Antan

You can find it here.
Read the article on our blog.