Wednesday 2 January 2013

Sorting Robin Leaflets

At the end of November/beginning of December I missed a couple of days working at Lee Mills, for various reasons, so I brought some pattern leaflets home to sort.  I decided to work on the Robin pattern leaflets, which as far as I knew had never been sorted at all.  There were 7 boxes altogether.  Mostly, they were completely mixed leaflets that had been put into the Robin boxes as we were sorting leaflets by spinner, although it turned out that at least one of the boxes had already been partly sorted into numerical order (before my time at Lee Mills). 

Unpacking the boxes and sorting roughly

I finished sorting them all just before Christmas - they were spread out over the attic floor for quite a while.  At first, sorting 7 boxes of leaflets takes a lot more room than the original boxes did, and gradually they get tidier and eventually they go back into new boxes.  The final step is to record the numbers of all the leaflets, so that I can see how many there are and what proportion of the total we have.

Sorting in progress
Completely sorted

Now that the counting is done, I can tell you that we have just over 2000 different Robin pattern leaflets.  (Excluding the later leaflets on A4 paper, which I am ignoring for now.)  They date from the 1930s or 1940s, to about the late 1970s.  Some of the leaflets are really attractive - the earliest leaflets, in particular, are beautifully produced.  Some of them, especially from the 1970s, seem astonishingly awful, with the benefit of hindsight.  More of that later.

 And if you want to know, sorting all those took me just under 24 hours in total.  It's slow work.  

While I was sorting all these leaflets, I was looking for the Mary Quant designs from 1965 and 1966.  As with the Emu leaflets, I found just one, although I know that more were produced.  Robin leaflet 1560 is from the 1966 collection. It's described as a Fair Isle sweater, though the design is nothing like a traditional Fair Isle, the yarn is nothing like Shetland wool, and the colours are not traditional either.  But it's a very nice design. 
Robin 1560 by Mary Quant

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...