There is a huge amount of work still to be done - the pattern leaflets, magazines, pattern booklets and other papers have never been properly sorted and catalogued, and the flood meant that everything got into a still worse state of confusion. But it will be an exceptional collection when we have finished and it's no longer just a mass of papers.
Amongst other tasks, I have been going through some of the boxes of mixed-up papers, and occasionally find a small gem. For instance, on the back of a knitting pattern from the 1930s, I found some useful advice that I'd like to share.
|Helps to Knitters 2/625|
ULTRA-VIOLET RAY TRANSMISSION THROUGH FABRIC MADE FROM WOOL.
It is an established fact that the health-giving ultra-violet rays are transmitted to the body with greater power through Wool than through either Artificial Silk or Cotton.WEAR WOOL, ALL WOOL, PATONS & BALDWINS - AND BE WELL!
Odd how much our attitude to UV light has changed.
Back to magazines. Lee Mills mostly houses knitting & crochet magazines, of course. The designs in the older magazines are often very attractive - I especially like those from the 1930s, and there is a surprising amount of material in the collection from that era or even older. The old designs can also be entertainingly awful, such as a 1970s tunic and matching flared trousers, with bright Fair-Isle patterns on the yoke of the tunic and around the trouser legs, or an outfit consisting of jumper, helmet and knickerbockers all with matching Aran patterns. Did anyone ever knit a pair of Aran knickerbockers, I wonder?
|A 1936 ad from Woman and Home|
There are also general women's magazines in the collection. In the older ones, I especially enjoy the adverts (though the problem pages can also be very entertaining). Some products have survived for decades, since the 1930s if not earlier, such as Knight's Castile soap, and Robertson's Golden Shred marmalade. Others have thankfully disappeared long ago, like the Ladye Jayne Slumber Helmet and Liberty bodices. (I actually remember Liberty bodices, which lasted much longer than they should have. They were dreadful.)