Behind the scenes of the manufacture of Armor-Lux striped shirts

Inspiration

BrittanyShopping and French Savoir Faire

Dans les ateliers Armor-Lux en Bretagne
© Andia - Dans les ateliers Armor-Lux en Bretagne

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 9 April 2024

In the factories in Quimper, in Brittany, Armor-Lux has been making its iconic blue-and-white striped shirts, symbols of French style, from Coco Chanel to Jean-Paul Gaultier, since 1938. Come along to find out the secrets of making this timeless little sailor top!

Precision work

Fabrication des marinières Armor-Lux en Bretagne.
© Armor-Lux - Fabrication des marinières Armor-Lux en Bretagne.

Whether white and blue or blue and white, following the tradition of the French Navy, Armor-Lux striped shirts are all assembled in the workshops of Quimper by expert artisans.

Spools and knitting machines

Bobines de fils servant à la confection des marinières Armor-Lux
© Armor-Lux - Bobines de fils servant à la confection des marinières Armor-Lux

Cotton thread spools are delivered to the knitting workshop on the banks of River Odet. One hundred circular looms ensure the "tube" production of knitwear. What a sight these big machines are, which alternate the spools to make the famous stripes! Here red, there blue. Jersey, rib stitches and interlocks, the fabric is soft and elastic. Stitches that keep their shape and quality cotton threads ensure the reputation of Armor-Lux.

Homemade dye

Les coulisses de la fabrication des marinières Armor-Lux.
© Armor-Lux - Les coulisses de la fabrication des marinières Armor-Lux.

Among curls of water vapor, the process turns at full speed! Armor-Lux has its own dye workshop. Large bins are used to dye, wash and rinse fabrics, stabilizing colors with healthy, environmentally friendly products. Their objective: to obtain incomparable softness, lasting color resistance and impeccable clothing. Your striped shirt is guaranteed not to shrink after many washes!

My beautiful pattern

Travail de couturière dans les ateliers d'Armor-Lux en Bretagne.
© Pascale Filliâtre - Travail de couturière dans les ateliers d'Armor-Lux en Bretagne.

Once the large rolls of fabric are transported to the workshop, seamstresses move into action. It is time to draw the patterns on the fabric, laid flat on long tables. The outline of the patterns is drawn in chalk and by hand. It is not easy to work with this stretch striped fabric, and there is no room for error. Stripes should not be deformed and must be perfectly superimposed.

Mass cutting

Fabrication des manches de marinières Armor Lux
© Armor Lux - Fabrication des manches de marinières Armor Lux

Arranged in tight layers, up to 32 for sleeves, fabrics are aligned and realigned before moving on to cutting. All stripes are cut manually for seamless joints.

A big helping hand

Découpe des marinières Armor-Lux.
© Armor-Lux - Découpe des marinières Armor-Lux.

The pieces of fabric pass from one seamstress to another to be assembled, stitched and hemmed. From cutting to stocking, it takes an average of 20 minutes to make a striped shirt.

Global ratings

Broderie Armor-Lux.
© Armor-Lux - Broderie Armor-Lux.

One million striped shirts with the Armor-Lux brand leave Breton workshops every year to travel around around the world. From the United States to Japan, people are crazy about these stripes made in France, whatever their width or colors. Armor-Lux offers around thirty references. Boat neck, long sleeves, slim cut... Classicism is on the rise.

A design for everyone

Visite des ateliers Armor-Lux en Bretagne.
© Pascale Filliâtre - Visite des ateliers Armor-Lux en Bretagne.

Labeled a Living Heritage Company, Armor-Lux asserts its know-how, which does not prevent innovation. A style office works on the two annual and between-season collections. Sketches and patterns, conventional or rainbow stripes, colors (white, blue and red only represent 25% of production), men's, women's and children's cuts: the striped shirt is the basic item that Armor-Lux likes to reinvent.

My striped shirt

La marinière, vêtement iconique d'Armor-Lux.
© Armor-Lux - La marinière, vêtement iconique d'Armor-Lux.

Lesconil for women and Admiral for men (though, of course, mixing and matching is up to you) are two emblematic models of Armor-Lux. How many striped shirts do you have in your wardrobe?

By France.fr

The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…