Leather tanning is complex and unique. It requires a great amount of knowledge about skins and mastering an infinite amount of details and gestures in order to approach perfection. Saint Junien in Haute-Vienne is Limousin’s well spring of leather tanning, thanks to the quality of the river Vienne’s water and to the importance of cow breeding in the area.
Colombier leather tanners: all in the family
In 1925 when Colombier was founded, lamb and sheep skin were used to make clothes and shoes. Young goat’s skin also began to be used, for its delicacy, to make deluxe gloves. Techniques were passed down from generation to generation and were constantly improved, enabling Colombier to rise to the top of France’s finest leather tanners.
Agnelle glovemakers : the Rolls Royce of gloves
Agnelle was founded by Joseph Pourrichou in 1937, and is now managed by his great-granddaughter Sophie Grégoire. In 2006, Agnelle obtained a “Live Heritage Company” label.
Sophie Grégoire’s passion for gloves and fashion, combined with her love of leather, give birth to exceptional models, hailed by deluxe brands and top fashion designers such as Dior, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Lanvin… as well as stars such as Madonna and Sharon Stone, to name a few. Agnelle gloves are sold in over 500 shops throughout France and 200 shops in over a dozen countries. You can visit her workshop (Booking required : contact Saint Junien Tourist Office).
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
Le Tanneur et Cie was founded in 1898. The company combines creativity and innovation with ancestral leather tanning techniques. Be sure to visit the factory outlet in Bort-les-Orgues and take advantage of factory prices on handbags, luggage and small leather goods. Le Tanneur also commercializes “Soco” brand items.