As anyone who has spent some time nosing around this site will know, I am always interested in the way people have adapted or made vinyl sleeves to suit themselves; a cover made from a vintage pre-War Kelloggs box, others made from old sheets of wallpaper. But this find takes it to a whole new level; a home-made hand-stitched record sleeve. A must admit I found the stitching a little disturbing, the chaotic way it was done reminding me of those protesters who have stitched their mouths up for some cause or other…
Anyhow! I found two of these sleeves in a box of 78s at a rather overpriced junk emporium in the back streets of Llandudno a while ago so feared the worse price wise, but was pleased to be asked a modest £1 a disc so went away with these and a handful of other 78 rpm odds and ends.
Most of the stock was from the thirties, so this is probably of a similar vintage. As the stitching is quite primitive, I could imagine a child or young teenager being responsible. The card itself has stencilled markings on the inside which seem to be from a recycled trade sheet of some sort, but I don’t want to pull it apart to check. The final sleeve shape is fairly challenging (and again suggests young hands getting to grips with a pair of scissors for the first time) but it did the job, and has been protecting the record for 75 years or so.
Of course some commercial makers of 78 sleeves for record shops stitched the edges up rather than use paper tape, so perhaps this was the child’s inspiration?
The rather swanky but cleverly refurbished and always interesting Mostyn Gallery was only just round the corner; if I was their curator these would have been framed and hanging on their wall!