[n.p. n.d., ca. 1930s]. With over 150 fabric swatches (most mounted, some laid in); pencil illustrations on ten pages; and sixteen pages with photo reproductions, periodical clippings, and fashion advertising material. Leaf count includes a  ff. packet, laid in, on “Wool Washing Experiments.” Typewritten text. Chipping to edges. Some toning throughout. Some swatches have come loose and are laid in. Graded “A+” on title-page. A remarkably thorough and well-executed fashion design workbook in very good condition. Original black card three-hole binder. 9 in. x 11 in. Approximately 130] ff. Item #17328
This workbook, compiled by a student named Lena Schroeder, represents an advanced curriculum in design, sewing, and fashion merchandising. The typewritten text, seemingly written by Schroeder from a variety of cited sources, details the history, production, and uses of a variety of consumer textiles including silk, wool, cotton, and flax. The fabric swatches include dozens of different types of fabrics (including denim, wool, velvet, percale, crinoline, silk, and many more) in a rich array of colors. Some of the textiles included here are annotated with drawings of how the fibers appear under a microscope, seemingly copied from Schroeder’s own observations.
The fashion advertising materials, as well as sections of text on current fashion trends and designing clothing for the mass market, offer an insight into the purpose of the course: to train students for careers in design, fashion merchandising, and professional sewing and tailoring. In the 1920s, mass-market fashion was still in its infancy, with companies including Chanel and Sears just beginning to sell ready-to-wear designs. The present item represents how the evolving desires of customers and a shift in the economics of fashion shaped sewing and design curriculum in schools.