Maison Sajou is a veritable treasure trove for the accoutrements and accessories necessary for embroidery, needlework, tapestry, dress-making and sewing. The beautiful packaging ensures each item, no matter how small, appears like an heirloom and once the first purchase has been made it is impossible not to covet a collection! Walking through the bright orange door is like stepping back in time to the allure of a 19th century Parisienne haberdashery....
Antique wooden cabinets are lined with rows of legendary Fils au Chinois and Lebaufil threads in a wonderful array of colours. Display cases hold an assortment of the finest quality notions; needle books, needle-threaders, tins of glass-head pins, brass, wooden and porcelain thimbles, woven and wooden tape measures. Drawers are left open, enticing the curious to peer down at the pin-cushions, wooden bobbins, thread-winders and miniature spools of thread. A large glass vitrine is reserved for displaying their famously ornate scissors with gold-plated metal, tortoiseshell, ivory and mother of pearl finishes. Tables show beautiful embroidery and sewing sets in wooden and metal boxes, the smallest containing the basic supplies necessary and the largest brimming with every notion and thread imaginable. Baskets are overflowing with embroidery, cross-stitch and toile-de-jouy pattern books, patchwork and appliqué fabric swatches, linens and cottons. Rails reveal a selection of guipure, lace, cotton, and silk ribbons as well as bespoke ribbons woven on antique jacquard looms and shelves are filled with bolts of printed Indienne fabric featuring exotic floral motifs.
It is no wonder that Maison Sajou has the ambiance and atmosphere of bygone years as it was re-established, so to speak, by Frederique Crestin-Billet, author of Haberdasheries of Yesteryear and an avid collector of antique haberdashery notions herself. Sajou was originally established in 1842 by Jaques-Simon Sajou and the brand became synonymous with quality haberdashery, however by 1954 it had disappeared. In resuming the name and reviving the brand, Frederique has emphasised the quality of haberdashery accoutrements historically produced in France and still available today. This enthusiasm led to her collaboration with Ets Toulemonde in 2007, who were restoring the once legendary brand of Fil Au Chinois threads. It is this passion for the French patrimony and heritage in haberdashery that makes visiting the Maison Sajou such an enjoyable and rewarding experience for textile enthusiasts from around the world and needless to say I left with my arms full of new and exciting purchases, although I can't help but covet more items to add to my collection!
I bought my first Fil Au Chinois gold thread from the marvellous Purl Soho haberdashery in New York who stock a selection of Sajou products. I was delighted find a rainbow selection of their threads in my package of materials!