The history of the Maison Sajou - Part 2

The history of the Maison Sajou - Part 2

- Categories : Museums and Heritage

Second part of the discovery of Maison Sajou 10th anniversary pattern chart. First part is here.

Vintage version of the Sajou embroiderer and an interpretation in cross-stitchThis embroider is not the original “Sajou embroiderer” (who you can find in our series of small historical projects – Sajou charts n°s 11 to 16). This one is inspired by a very old watercolour card that a friend lent me years ago. This embroiderer was very popular when we sold it in kit form and can be found, along with the original embroiderer, in our red album n°915.


Part of the collection of Sajou embroidery scissors

Our embroidery scissors, entirely made in France, are one of my proudest products.
The Eiffel Tower model is a re-edition: the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition,
during which Monsieur Sajou won a silver medal.
The Private Collection is made up of models which I designed, inspired by vintage models.
The handles are made from cellulose acetate, a mixture of cotton and wood.
The Little Monsters, so called because of the disproportion between the handles and the blades,
are the sort of scissors found in miniature sewing sets, often placed in a large nut.
Small and practical, they were often used for cutwork (Richelieu) embroidery or broderie anglaise.

Dressmakers’ thimbles in the Sajou Collection

Made from the same material as our Private Collection scissors, our thimbles present ten facets
and are made out of four assembled pieces. A technical prowess.
They imitate tortoiseshell, mother of pearl, onyx or ivory.
The tartan model has actual fabric trapped under a coat of crystal.


Re-edition Sajou blue album N°1

Among all the Sajou albums, I chose this one from the miniature series as it was
was with this album that I started my collection almost 30 years ago.
I have re-edited eight albums from the miniature series (n°s 1 to 8),
eight from the mauve series (n°s 101 to 108 and eight from the green series (n°s 651 à 658).
The red series never existed, but is the presentation I chose as my contribution to propose my own creations.
The numbers given to the red album series are also an invention of mine.

Sajou thread cards and their interpretation in cross stitch

Along with the Sajou albums, thread cards were among the first vintage haberdashery items to catch my eye.
They reflect a whole period when linen threads were used for domestic sewing,
a time when ready to wear didn’t exist.
In a world much less saturated by imaged than today, these thread cards were an amusement,
the customers (already) encouraged to use more to discover the pretty picture hidden by the thread.
They were among the first products that I re-edited when I re-launched Maison Sajou.
I have been credited with a revival in the interest of these modest little objects. 
The Sajou thread cards bear the names of Normandy towns,
in memory of the time when this region was devoted to growing flax.

Interpretation in cross-stitch of the Sajou Articles de Mercerie label


When I re-launched Sajou, my project was to only offer products made in France. In 2005 the concept was not as well received as nowadays. The first round Sajou label did not have the red, white and blue strip, which I added in 2013.

Glass-tipped pin discs and their interpretation in cross stitch

In my collection of antique objects, I have pin discs made of paper
and card. I would have loved to re-edit them but it proved technically impossible. With hindsight, I have no regrets: at least plastic has the advantage of withstanding the test of time, even with intensive use

The Fil Au Chinois label and an interpretation in cross-stitch


My encounter with Ets Toulemonde dates from autumn 2007, just after they had taken over the venerable Fil Au Chinois brand just after it had been placed in liquidation. I used my archives to redraw the packaging to resemble the marvels of their prestigious past. Many new products have been added and our association has got stronger.

The Sajou Retors du Nord embroidery floss

The Retors du Nord embroidery floss is produced by Ets Toulemonde,
the name a tribute to the French region where it is made.
In French, “Retors” is a synonym for “twisted”.
Since we released this thread in 2010, it has slowly but surely won over embroiderers
from all over the world who claim “to try it is to love it”.
Made up of four separable strands, this is the best quality Egyptian long fibre cotton
and comes in a range of 96 colours.


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