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The federation

“Age-old craftsmanship”

The history of glove-making

The federation

Founded in 1930, the “Federation Française de la Ganterie de Peau de Ville”, which many years later became the “Federation Française de la Ganterie” (French Glove-making Federation) aims to defend the interests of the profession both nationally and in the export market.

Its membership includes the glove-makers of Grenoble (who originally specialised in kid-skin) and the glove-makers of Saint-Junien and Millau (also specialising in kid-skin and lambskin, but also in exotic skins).

This sector of the French glove-making industry employs around 300 people and has a total production of medium-range and upmarket dress gloves of approximately 350,000 pairs.

Its long tradition of craftsmanship has allowed it to penetrate the demanding world of haute couture, its constant search for creativity being in perfect harmony with the demands of designers.

Encouraged by its various chairmen, the Federation has increased its communication activities over the last two decades with the aim of creating greater awareness of the image of French gloves. Through its members, the Federation is also present at fashion shows in France and abroad, in Moscow, Peking, New York, Tokyo and London.

The Federation also organises style competitions with design schools. On the institutional front, the Federation is a member of the board of the “Conseil National du Cuir (CNC – National Leather Council) and is on the CTC (“Centre Technique du Cuir” – Technical Leather Centre) Economic Development Committee, where it supports applications for help from members of the Leather sector and contributes to the special tax. The Federation also acts as a link with union organisations to ensure that social and pay conditions in the profession are in good order and comply with legal obligations. All these actions support the same aim of helping to defend the interests of members of the glove-making profession at the highest level.

“Gloves have come down through the centuries”

French gloves

The history of

glove-making

Origins and symbols

What is thought to be the oldest glove, made of braided leather, was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. It is thought to have belonged to an archer. But the idea of protecting your hands – against cold and external factors – is even more ancient. Cave paintings showing different forms of hand protection have been found in a cave near Marseille. They date back to the Upper Palaeolithic period.

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The homes of French glove-making

The first Glovers’ guilds were set up in the Middle Ages in the regions in which kids and lambs were intensively reared, mainly in the Dauphiné (Grenoble) and the Massif Central (Millau, Saint-Junien). The glove-making industry was at its peak between 1850 and the 1920s.

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“A worldwide fashion accessory”

Production

French

gloves

Design model THOMASINE couture - Agnelle in St.Junien

The influence of fashion

Gloves were closely linked to the history of clothing in the 20th century and went through periods of euphoria – the Roaring Twenties, the 40s and 50s marked by the arrival of couture - and abandonment – the post-war period, the hippy years, the 90s. But they have not become obsolete. Rita Hayworth’s long gloves in the film “Gilda”, Michael Jackson’s sacred glove and Karl Lagerfeld’s mittens are ingrained in the memory. Gloves also belong to the legend of French elegance.

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An international reputation

The traditional glove-makers who have managed to perpetuate their heritage have taken the path of differentiation. Haute couture and the luxury houses are a profitable market conducive to creativity and innovation.

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“Studio memories,
memories of hands”

Tools

Cutting-out

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« Slitting »

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The lining

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« Working »

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Trying-out

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Assembling

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The « warm hand »

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The
production
step
by step

“The tool, the sixth finger
for making things ”

Members

The
glove-maker's

tools

The knife

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The glove-maker’s foot

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The glove-maker’s scissors

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The “iron hand”

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The glove-opener

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The “warm hand”

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“Our signatures focused on the future ”

Contact

Members

Gants
Causse

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Ganterie de
Saint Junien

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Lesdiguieres
Barnier

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Agnelle

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Atelier
du gantier

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Georges
Morand

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Lavabre
Cadet

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“Let us go further together...”

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21 Rue Gabriel Péri
38600 FONTAINE
Tel : 04.76.27.24.35
Fax : 04.76.26.79.61

Association declared under the Act of 1901

Origins and symbols

What is thought to be the oldest glove, made of braided leather, was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. It is thought to have belonged to an archer. But the idea of protecting your hands – against cold and external factors – is even more ancient. Cave paintings showing different forms of hand protection have been found in a cave near Marseille. They date back to the Upper Palaeolithic period.

In its initial form, the glove was a covering for the fingers, the forerunner of the mitten. Encouraged by the clergy and monarchy, it changed from a utilitarian accessory and working object into a sign of authority and deference. In the Middle Ages it took on a legal value, sealing a donation and symbolising the act of exchange.

The Book of Trades was written by Etienne Boileau at the request of Louis XI. This was the starting point for the Glovers’ guilds that were founded in Paris, Tours, Grasse, Rouen and Grenoble. Change came faster, turning the glove into an object of luxury and refinement. The way in which people put on, took off and held their gloves was governed by a very precise code of manners.

In the 16th century, women began using gloves in their turn. The recipe for perfuming gloves was discovered by the French chemist Jean Liebault. The master “glove-maker-perfumers” triumphed. Gloves became an essential accessory for both men and women.

The first crisis came during the French Revolution, when all signs of luxury were prohibited. The Empress Josephine, who used a thousand pairs a year, brought gloves back into fashion under the Empire. Their return to favour continued until the early 20th century. They then reflected changes in modern society, with all its ups and downs.

The homes of French glove-making

The first Glovers’ guilds were set up in the Middle Ages in the regions in which kids and lambs were intensively reared, mainly in the Dauphiné (Grenoble) and the Massif Central (Millau, Saint-Junien). The glove-making industry was at its peak between 1850 and the 1920s.

Between 1850 and 1870, the glove-making industry was the leading employer in Grenoble, where the cutting dye was invented. By designing this cutter, Xavier Jouvin helped to speed up production. In Saint-Junien, the glove’s reputation was such that it went beyond national borders. In 1931, Millau took over from Grenoble as the leader of the French glove market.

Faced with imports from Asia and the cost of labour, the industry has been forced to adapt and look for new outlets and markets. Glove-making companies were once counted in their hundreds, but now only a few remain: Agnelle, Georges Morand, Ganterie de Saint-Junien in Saint-Junien, Causse, Atelier du Gantier, Maison Fabre, Mary Beyer in Millau, Lesdiguières-Barnier in Grenoble…

« Souple comme un gant »

docile, accommodant.

L’image du gant appliquée à une personne exprime une grande malléabilité et date du XVIème siècle.

« Aller comme un gant »

très bien convenir.

L’expression a d’abord été employée à propos d’un vêtement.

« Jeter, relever le gant »

lancer, relever un défi.

La locution se réfère à la coutume féodale par laquelle un chevalier en défiait un autre au combat en lui jetant son gant. S’il le ramassait, il acceptait de se battre.

« Prendre des gants »

agir avec ménagement, précaution pour ne pas blesser quelqu’un.

« Une main de fer dans un gant de velours »

une autorité ferme, sous une apparence douce.

L’image proverbiale a été attribuée par Balzac à Bernadotte, maréchal d’empire.

The influence of fashion

Gloves were closely linked to the history of clothing in the 20th century and went through periods of euphoria – the Roaring Twenties, the 40s and 50s marked by the arrival of couture - and abandonment – the post-war period, the hippy years, the 90s. But they have not become obsolete. Rita Hayworth’s long gloves in the film “Gilda”, Michael Jackson’s sacred glove and Karl Lagerfeld’s mittens are ingrained in the memory. Gloves also belong to the legend of French elegance.

In fashion, appearance often takes precedence over function. Gloves have become fully-fledged accessories that enhance the figure in the same way as a jewel, a bag or shoes… With their summer versions, they have also broken through the seasonal barrier. Designers and couturiers have been putting them in the limelight for several seasons, emphasising their sophistication and supporting the return to ultra-femininity.

An international reputation

The traditional glove-makers who have managed to perpetuate their heritage have taken the path of differentiation. Haute couture and the luxury houses are a profitable market conducive to creativity and innovation.

The “Made in France” label is very popular in the export market and is an advantage to the leading glove-makers. Hermès and Chanel bought the “Ganterie de Saint-Junien” and “Causse” in 1998 and 2012 respectively. Agnelle and Causse have been awarded the “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (Living Heritage Company) label. Georges Morand is the only one to work with both sectors, fashion and the more technically demanding glove-making, as this gives greater security.

Partnerships with couturiers and young designers – graduates from international fashion schools – are invaluable, encouraging the glove-makers to look outwards to the world and use the excellence of their techniques to serve new ideas.

Cutting-out

The cutter traces out a square on the skin to define the surface area of the glove then cuts it out with scissors. This is “cutting-out”.

« Slitting »

It is then cut with a cutting dye to the defined shape of the glove. There is a cutting dye for each type of glove and each size. The fingers are separated and the space for the thumb is cut out during this operation, known as “slitting”.

The lining

A glove inside the glove, the lining is stitched to the tip of each finger. The stitching is checked using a glove-opener.

« Working »

The skin is selected and moistened with a dabber, sprinkled with talc then “worked”, stretched lengthways and widthways until it becomes “springy”.

Trying-out

The piece of leather is stretched lengthways again to the size of the template. This is “trying-out”.

Assembling

Once they have been checked, the different components are assembled in the stitching shop, using the required finish: saddle-stitch, reverse stitch, edge-to-edge, embroidery, decorative features, etc.

The “warm hand”

The final stage is the “warm hand”. The glove is placed on a heated metal hand to create its final shape. It may be brushed or “smoothed” for a glossy effect.

The knife

or skiving machine

for softening the skin and removing creases.

The glove-maker’s foot

or Charlemagne’s foot

used as a measuring instrument to work out the size of the glove lengthways and widthways. It is a wooden rod 32.4 cm long, i.e. the length of Charlemagne’s foot. It is divided into twelve sections known as “inches”. Glove sizes are always expressed in inches and half-inches, from 6 ½ to 11 for adults.

The glove-maker’s scissors

for cutting the skin along the edges of a cardboard pattern on which the slit of the fingers and the place for the thumb are marked. The blades are shorter than for tailor’s scissors.

The “iron hand”

this is the last tool to be used in the cutting stage. The leather rectangle is placed on this metal cutting dye invented by Xavier Joulin in 1838. The hydraulic press accurately separates the fingers and cuts out the place for the thumb.

The glove-opener

made of two pointed rods that work like a clothes peg. It is used to check and repair stitching.

The “warm hand”

is the equivalent of steam pressing in glove-making. The glove is placed on this flat hand shape and heated to remove any creases.

Agnelle

A family company founded in Saint Junien in 1937, Ganterie Agnelle works leather with recognised expertise. In 1999, its prestigious, often “couture” creations attracted the attention of the Wells Lamont Int. Group, America’s leading glove manufacturer. In November 2001, out of a concern to maintain the French glove-making tradition, Sophie Grégoire, the founder’s great-granddaughter, presented the American group with an acquisition offer, which the group accepted. Sophie Grégoire’s passion for glove-making and her fashion sense were combined with a love of leather to create some outstanding models that proved highly popular with the world of haute couture, luxury brands and ready-to-wear designers: Dior, Gaultier, Lanvin, eventually being sold in over 500 retail outlets in France and approximately 200 spread across 15 foreign countries. In 2010, Sophie Grégoire was awarded the Veuve Cliquot Prize for businesswomen.

Contact

30 boulevard de la République
87202 Saint-Junien Cedex
T. + 33 (0)5 55 02 13 53
F. + 33 (0)5 55 02 19 76
E. agnelle@agnelle.fr

Atelier du Gantier

This is one of French glove-making’s youngest companies. Since 1989, Chantal and Christian, a couple with both artistic and craft skills, have been making models in the finest traditions of Millau glove-making in a small studio-cum-shop. The quality of their work (cutting, stitching, hand-stitching) is faithful to the heritage of the past, but in their hands, Millau’s skins are turned into jewels of elegance in a classical or more fanciful style that reinterprets a traditional heritage. The studio was taken over in 2012 by Lydie PERON and Julien VIDAL.

Contact

21 rue Droite – 12100 Millau
T. + 33 (0)5 65 60 81 50
F. + 33 (0)5 65 60 90 66
E. Lydieperon@sfr.fr

Maison Causse

Founded in Millau nearly 120 years ago, Gant Causse has been owned by the same family from the outset. Causse has inherited a prestigious expertise that has been handed down over four generations. Olivier Causse now runs the company. In 2003, he joined forces with artistic directors Nadine Carel and Manuel Rubio, ANDAM prize-winners in 2001. The company makes gloves for the greatest stars and works with designers such as Delfina Delettrez, Rodarte and the iconic Lemarié and Lesage … The company has had a new factory since 2005, designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte; this houses the manufacturing workshops, a museum telling the story of the company’s past and a gallery for temporary exhibitions dedicated to gloves. It is easy to see why the French government awarded it the “Living Heritage Company” label in 2006. In 2012, Gant Causse was taken over by Chanel.

Contact

5 boulevard des Gantières
12102 Millau Cedex
T. + 33 (0)5 65 60 03 05
F. + 33 (0)5 65 59 75 63
E. info@causse-gantier.fr

Lesdiguieres Barnier

A member of the Grenoble glove-making industry, Lesdiguières Barnier was the result of a merger between two companies: Lesdiguières, founded in 1903, and Ganterie Barnier, founded in 1885. The company has been run for the last 30 years by Jean Strazzeri, a “meilleur ouvrier de France” for glove-making and nominated for a wide range of awards (“Prix Liliane Bettencourt”, “Intelligence de la Main”, “Diplôme d'Artisanat en Métiers d'Art”, etc.). His designs are aimed mainly at the high end of the market. Each manufacturing stage is completed by hand, with no mechanised tasks. The “hand-made” concept has found its market: the company sells nearly half its production to prestige addresses abroad.

LESDIGUIERES-BARBIER has obtained the french « Living Heritage Company » label.

Contact

21 rue Gabriel Péri
38600 Fontaine
T. + 33 (0)4 76 27 24 35
F. + 33 (0)4 76 26 79 61
E. ganterie.lesdiguieres.barnier@wanadoo.fr

Georges Morand

George Morand set up business in the glove-making town of Saint-Junien in 1946. Here, George Morand discovered a passion for the trade and assured the success of an ancient tradition, using this prestigious past to innovate and develop. Three generations later, machines do no more than accompany the workers’ hands in a company that is still run by the same family. George Morand’s master glove-makers, who bring out the sensuality of the finest skins, work with the greatest respect for tradition and a concern for perfection, quality and beauty. George Morand’s know-how is a subtle mix of style creation and manufacturing perfectionism.

Contact

1-3 Chemin du Goth BP 18
87201 Saint-Junien Cedex
T. + 33 (0)5 55 02 77 77
F. + 33 (0)5 55 02 65 50
E. info@george-morand.fr

Ganterie De Saint-Junien

The Ganterie de Saint-Junien is the oldest glove-making company still operating in the town on the banks of the River Vienne. It was founded on 1st May 1919. It has inherited a wealth of expertise and has always worked for prestigious customers. Hermès took the company over in 1998. Alongside its own creative and commercial energy, the Ganterie de Saint-Junien is still the main supplier of Hermès gloves. The company was awarded the “Living Heritage Company” label in 2006 and puts a great deal of energy into passing on French know-how, organising training courses to perpetuate the tradition for making hand-stitched gloves in the Limousin. The label is a reward for the company’s policy of innovation.

Contact

18 rue Louis Codet BP 84
87203 Saint-Junien Cedex
T. + 33 (0)5 55 02 26 64
F. + 33 (0)5 55 02 67 47
E. ganterie.saint-junien@hermes.com

Maison Lavabre Cadet

Founded in 1946 in Millau, the maison Lavabre Cadet swiftly gained international prestige for its creations. The collections surpass traditional offerings by aligning the savoir-faire of glove making and millinery practiced by the founding couple: Francis and Lucette Lavabre.

This reputation for creativity soon garnered the House international recognition, thanks to the support of the most notable designers and fashion magazines. Loyal to its roots, the entirety of the fabrication process never left its birthplace, and the House continues to provide exceptional, singular pieces for its prestigious clients. In 2013, the atelier came under the auspices of Camille Fournet, a maison with whom Lavabre Cadet shares the same core values.

Contact

31, Avenue Jean Jaurès
12100 – MILLAU – France
T. + 33 (0)5 65 60 63 64
F. + 33 (0)5 65 61 22 43
E. contact@lavabrecadet.com
www.lavabrecadet.com