To be able to see how some of Hermès’ artisans sew their scarves and make their saddles is quite unique and their week long demonstration (until Saturday 26) at Carreau du Temple in the Marais is a fun show.
I had no idea that the « roulottage » of scarves (sewing the borders) was such a difficult art and that it was all done by hand. We got to see the failed scarves as well as the lady making them, and it is incredibly difficult to hold the silk and roll it between your fingers and sew it without the stitches showing… Each scarf takes about forty minutes.
To touch (and smell) all the skins and see from close up the different leathers is delightful as was the Spanish accent of the saddle maker. The architecture of Carreau du Temple, a former market with great ironwork, is a perfect studio for all these magicians who include the glove maker, the silk printer, the handbag manufacturer, the watch maker and the tie maker, which is probably the most impressive. You need about five times more fabric for a tie than what you see and the different operations are very precise in order to keep it its volume, softness and steadiness. There is only one thread going through the whole tie.
Painters on china, and glass sculptors (for Cristal Saint Louis) were all there and very talkative about their art. The only problem you face is that you have to be close up to the workers to see anything and of course you are not alone. Entrance is free and if you have lunch at Les Chouettes afterwards, it all makes for a very nice day.
4 rue Eugène Spueller, near République. Closed onTuesday.
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