You will find here re-editions of albums which made Monsieur Sajou famous in the 19th century. Jacques-simon Sajou (1802-1882) was the first person in France to print embroidery pattern charts on a large scale. Until then they were only available in watercolour versions, inaccessible for most budgets. His album editions earned him many awards and honours during the great industrial and Universal exhibitions. The Sajou albums were edited by seris of formats and colours, each having an identifying number.
However, sometimes identical patterns could be found in albums with different numbers and, quite the opposite, different patterns could be found in albums with the same number. One question we are often asked – how can we tell the age of the old Sajou albums? It is very difficult, as there were many different editions over many decades.
The original blue Sajou albums were called “miniatures because of their size: 5 x 7.5cm. When I re-edited them, I chose not only to enlarge the format, but also to print them on cardboard to make them more solid and easier to use. In the miniature blue series, Monsieur Sajou created albums 1 to 8, dedicated to small cross stitch alphabets. You will find the reeditions here. Also with blue covers are the numbers 21, 31 and 32 for whitework, numbers 41 to 43 for crochet and numbers 184 and 185 for cross-stitch (the 184 album has the same patterns as the n°6). In the same original small format was a series of albums with a green cover, called “Bijoux”, ranging from number 13 to 28, as well as a number 101.
The vintage mauve Sajou albums are also sometimes called pink albums. The original format was 8 x 11.5cm. These re-edited versions are very close to the original size. They are numbered from 101 to 108. The original series of mauve albums went from number 101 to 110 and contained cross-stitch patterns. Cross stitch was often used for identifying laundry, so in French, this stitch is also known as marking stitch. Then followed numbers 131 to 136 for classic embroidery, 141 to 145 for crochet and finally, numbers 150 to 152 comprising of cut-out cardboard motifs. In the same 8 x 11.5cm format exists a series of blue albums and a few albums with beige/yellow motifs containing bi-colour cross stitch motifs in blue and red.
The vintage green Sajou albums had a 10 x 14cm format. This is the same size as out re-editions of numbers 651 to 658. There were originally two series of green albums, this one and a larger version measuring 26.5 x 16.5cm in landscape format. In this format the numbers 651 to 656 contain elegant alphabets to embroider in cross-stitch, whereas the numbers 657 and 658 contain only borders and repetitive motifs. In this same format can be found numbers 661 to 666 with models for traditional embroidery, alphabets, garlands and other small motifs. The original Sajou albums were printed on very thin paper and were extremely fragile. Our re-editions are printed on cardboard, making them more solid.
This series of red albums is not a reedition: Frédérique Crestin-Billet wanted to add her own contribution the collection of Sajou albums by creating new models. They are, of course, in keeping with the traditional models and have a vintage Sajou cover, but one that did not exist in this colour. Also, the 900 series never appeared on the vintage Sajou albums.
You will find here the books by Frederique Crestin-Billet about vintage haberdashery collectibles. You will also find the DMC albums, re-edited on the initiative of Maison Sajou. These little albums are legendary in the history of French cross-stitch and are one of the most popular of the DMC heritage.