The first time that a pattern is pulled from it's envelope, unfolded and cut to create a garment is easy. Putting it all back together is the tricky part. Some seamstresses neatly press the tissues and slip them back into their envelopes. It's not always a perfect fit and often the envelope will tear in the process. So seamstresses have searched for alternative storage methods for their used but precious patterns.
I have in my collection, numerous patterns where the seamstress has split the envelope and pasted the front and back onto a manilla envelope with the contents inside.
The flat envelopes card shops slide greeting cards into are fairly common for pattern storage. But storing patterns in waxed paper folders was a surprise for me. I had never seen these flat sheets of waxed paper before. But what a clever storage idea for the 1930's seamstress.
On the back cover of the Perkins "Sanigenic" folder they have imprinted a space for a letter to identify the contents when filed and even suggests filing patterns in the folders. These envelopes are constructed from a lightweight chip board with sturdy folds glued at the back and a wide flap.
The folders preserve the pattern envelopes nicely with no tears and help keep the tissues in good condition. This extra effort by the waxed paper manufacturers reminds me of how the feed and seed companies aided the rural homemaker by printing pretty patterns on what would have been plain white muslin. By offering another purpose for the folder they extend it's usefulness and ensure it's longevity. What a great idea!