Piganiol : my French umbrella
Come on who are we kidding? We just can’t take this weather anymore! I know you’ve been talking about it to the whole world, even your local baker. But today I’m the one taking over and bringing you the sun to the top of your head. Next stop Aurillac, the French town for umbrella manufacturing. The house Piganiol has been manufacturing its models since 1884. A small precious company just as I love where the unique know-how is passed on through 5 generations. Every year, 33 people produce 50,000 umbrellas. Mainly women. Here, they stop working at noon to have lunch with the children at home. A different life I tell you! They are cutters, stitches, assemblers … Whatever the case may be, each job requires precision, transmission of a century-old know-how and the ability to adapt to the modern world and its new technologies. You just have to see the laser cutting with the traditional sewing machines to appreciate the work of this company with French EPV Label (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant). Between a personal collection and orders from the biggest luxury houses in France, Mathieu Piganiol welcomed me for a private visit. Proud to carry the family torch, today he follows the footsteps with dynamism and passion. Travel behind the scenes!
Let’s go to the backstage of the workshops !
It’s around fifteen steps needed to manufacture only one umbrella ! We start with the structural shape requiring patience and savoir-faire. Here, Marie-Paule is assembling the iconic shape of Piganiol’s House: the shepherd’s umbrella. It’s huge ! The kind of umbrella that we like to have in the trunk of the car constantly. At the end of the day, she will do eleven umbrellas in overall !
In the meanwhile… After the fabrics have been selected and approved by the design office, they are printing and cutting by laser.
Click here to see the umbrella pattern women umbrella Homage to Cocteau ! You will see the seamstres are able to join the pattern together in order to get the full the pattern on the umbrella.
Eight fabric panels and tens hems for the best finishing touch ! We also shape the fastener, the storage sleeve with the same fabric than the umbrella. In short, the French chic !
Let’s put on stamped handles
“Piganiol since 1884”
Last step, the quality checks ! One by one, the umbrellas are opening, closing and scrutinised to avoid any stitches defects. It remains to iron (indeed !) and pack them.
“Precise gestures, dexterity and nimble fingers : that is our secret to manufacture umbrella withstanding to the time and tumults.”
Mathieu Piganiol, Maison Piganiol CEO
I hope you like the visit ! I have to admit that after the reporting I have adopted 2 umbrellas: flowery and disco umbrella and Homage to Mondrian. The advantage with the umbrella cane is that it is really solid. And then.. event to be rinsed, so do it with elegance ? isn’t it ?
To discover all umbrellas, buy your next French umbrella ! Or find out more about the history of the family home, visit the website www.piganiol.fr