Glove-making: French savoir-faire for the skin

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The story of a glove always begins at the heart of the Millavois basin in Aveyron, Occitanie. Highly regarded for its leather manufacture, it’s home to the art of glove-making. For decades, the Alric tannery has been dressing wealthy hands, channelled by the humbler hands of the workers at Maison Causse.

Working in the shadow of the majestic Millau viaduct, the tanners at Maison Alric have long mastered the secret to beautiful leathers, using boar, ostrich, python and lamb skins highly prized by the luxury goods industry.

In the den of this authentic specialist tannery that the leather is tanned, treated and dyed. Thanks to traditional methods and extraordinary savoir-faire, the leather is industriously worked until it becomes fine and flexible.

The Maison Causse supplies the biggest names in fashion

Once the leather is perfected, the long and painstaking process of glove-making begins at the Maison Causse workshops. Designed by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the building houses 30 artisans – master glove-makers and seamstresses – who work tirelessly to create as many as 25,000 pairs of gloves each year.

It sometimes takes over 100 separate processes to transform the leather into a glove. Delicate little hands cut and sew as the rich smell of hide permeates the air. These days, the Maison Causse supplies the biggest names in fashion.

Its craftsmen like to share their slowly rarifying trade with visitors, giving them the chance to experience the magic of glove-making in an attempt to preserve this precious heritage.

Millau in Occitanie