In Limousin, leather means luxurious gloves, deluxe shoes and all sorts of prestigious leather items.
Saint-Junien leather gloves
Saint-Junien is the capital of leather and leather gloves. It strives to preserve the age old industrial heritage thanks to the Leather Pole. Tradition has it that Saint-Junien’s leather activity dates back to the XIth or XIIth centuries because of the town’s location: at the junction of the rivers Vienne and Glane and at the heart of a large breeding basin. By the end of the XVIIth century, leather work had become Saint-Junien’s main activity. With the economic crisis, foreign competition and a doubtless change in fashion (gloves began to be seen as a mere accessory), production started to decrease in the end of the XXth century. There are only two tanneries left in Saint-Junien today (Colombier and Gamcuir) and three glove factories (Agnelle, Georges Morand and the Hermès Glove Factory in Saint- Junien). But the accumulated know-how of the past centuries enables them to maintain their fame.
Saint-Junien gloves represent 45% of France’s total production (480.000 pairs per year).
Saint-Junien’s Tourist Office organizes tours of the glove factories all year long. Discover their techniques and visit their shops.
The name "Weston" may sound English, but it's not! It is a Limousin leather shoemaker!
The "JM Weston" brand was created by the Blanchard company which was founded in Limoges in 1891. Blanchard specialized in deluxe shoes. In 1904, Eugène Blanchard travelled to Boston to learn new techniques from « Good Year », in order to perfect the company's sewing methods.
In 1910, Blanchard represented France at the World Expo in Brussels and was awarded a diploma of honour.
In 1926, Eugène Blanchard brought sophistication to a whole new level by creating 5 new widths in the company's shoe sizes, to fit customers' feet perfectly. These custom-made shoes are what made Weston a success.
The Weston factory outlet in Limoges offers a 20% discount on many shoes.
Web : www.jmweston.com
"Le Tanneur" deluxe handbags and leather goods, in Bort-les-Orgues (Corrèze) since 1898.
Web : www.letanneur.com