WHY CHOOSE AN ARTISAN-MADE BAG?
What makes an artisanal bag different from an industrially-produced bag? Pretty much everything, apart from its end use. Unlike bags made on production lines in environmentally-damaging factories on the other side of the world by people working in often appalling conditions, an artisanal bag is an ethical piece that is made to last.
ARTISANAL BAGS: ETHICAL AND MADE TO LAST
Artisanal bags are manufactured according to principles which are rarely taken into consideration by the ‘fast fashion’ industry: respect for people and their skills and knowledge, choosing quality materials, using local suppliers as much as possible, employing less polluting production methods, direct contact with consumers, and an emphasis on the durability of the product.
When making an artisanal bag, people are the priority, not the production rate: these items are the product of one man or woman’s work and skill, an individual who often creates their bags from start to finish. An artisanal bag is a unique item which, when made from quality materials, will become even more beautiful over time.
THE BLEU DE CHAUFFE WORKSHOP
Every bag from Bleu de Chauffe is a French artisanal bag of the highest quality.
The entire production process for a Bleu de Chauffe bag, from design to the finished product, takes place at our workshop in Saint-Georges-de-Luzençon in the Aveyron region, in the south west of France. This gives us full control of all stages of production and quality control.
Each artisan carries out every stage in production by hand: preparing the leather, dyeing the sheets, pricking, assembly, and stitching. Leatherwork is often considered to be a man’s world – not at the Bleu de Chauffe workshop, where the majority of our artisans are women, and exceptionally skilled women at that.
Bleu de Chauffe creates artisanal bags which are unique in many ways. The creation process begins with a technical diagram of the model in question, drawn up by designer and company founder Alexandre Rousseau. This model is then used to create the cutting molds.
Next, our artisan leather cutter places the cutting molds on the leather or canvas, making the best possible use of the material, to cut out the pieces needed for the bag. He must select the best parts of the leather and carefully choose where to place the cutting molds depending on the thickness, as each part of the bag requires leather of different thicknesses. The leather and canvas used at Bleu de Chauffe is of the highest quality, so it doesn’t come cheap! It is therefore the cutter’s job to make sure there isn’t too much wasted material.
He gathers together all the pieces needed for the bag and gives them to the artisan in charge of making it – from start to finish. They start by using a skiver to remove fine layers from most of the leather components. They then move on to gluing (with a water-based solvent-free adhesive), stitching, and dyeing. Various sewing machines are used for the stitching, depending on the thickness of the leather. All our bags are sewn on the reverse side, which makes them extremely durable. Once finished, the artisan who created the bag signs it on the inside.
Every artisanal leather bag from Bleu de Chauffe is made from vegetable-tanned leather, tanned using natural plant-based agents. This avoids using the chrome and heavy metals which are widely used in the leather industry, and creates leather which is not harmful for the skin and which develops a beautiful natural patina as it ages.
Bleu de Chauffe leather bags are artisanal bags made from natural leather which are made to last and can be repaired, unlike industrially-manufactured bags.
ARTISANAL BAGS FROM BLEU DE CHAUFFE
From the first Bleu de Chauffe bags – new versions of 20th-century work bags which are still some of our most popular pieces – our collection has grown, with a full range of models from travel bags to handbags, satchels to backpacks, bike bags to camera bags, all the while staying true to our workwear roots.
The mailman bag is the most emblematic Bleu de Chauffe bag. It was originally a men’s artisanal bag, but now comes in a variety of different sizes, with certain models which are the perfect fit for a feminine look.
The Éclair is a mailman-style messenger bag that comes in three sizes: Irving, a large men’s mailman-style business bag, and Lucien and Louis, mailman messenger bags with a single compartment.
Our Musette range of fishermen’s satchels is a collection of unisex models which come in three sizes and two different types of leather (suede and waxed) or two kinds of canvas (organic British Millerain cotton canvas and Halley Stevensons[af1] waxed canvas). The Ferdi is a musette specifically designed for cyclists.
A minimalist messenger bag inspired by vintage American mailman bags, it comes in stonewashed cotton canvas or waxed canvas, and in two sizes: Baston (the larger of the two) and Baskia. The Gaston is our best-selling stonewashed cotton canvas messenger. Last but not least are the Forlan and Beat canvas belt bags, our smallest messenger bags.
The Bleu de Chauffe collection also has a range of business bags: Zeppo (in full leather or a mix of leather and waxed canvas), Report (in leather or waxed canvas), the leather Folder, the Groucho satchel, and the canvas Remix.
Our range of travel bags includes leather models Zoom and Hobo, and canvas models Cabine and Zéphir.
Our range of backpacks includes the canvas model Woody, in 25L or 30L, Zibeline and Puncho in leather, and Camp, which comes in two sizes and in either suede or organic cotton canvas.
We give you the best in artisanal tote bags with two different models: Bazar, in stonewashed cotton canvas, and Zinnia, in waxed canvas.
Our range of camera bags includes two leather models: Arles and Bologne (the smaller of the two).
Not forgetting our artisanal handbags, with a collection of Bleu de Chauffe leather bags especially for women: the best-selling Diane Gibecières, Java, Pastis, Pastel, Origami (in 3 sizes), Joan, Jordi, and our bucket bags.
The Dalva is a large-capacity feminine business bag that takes its inspiration from a tote.
Find the overview of these products at the bottom of the page.
Every Bleu de Chauffe bag is a unique artisanal bag, entirely made by hand by a single artisan who is responsible for their creation. There are no production lines: each artisan has their own way of working. Their signature, on the inside of the bag, is the mark of a unique piece: an artisanal bag with character. Our artisans’ hands are the heart and soul of the Bleu de Chauffe workshop.
(1) Postman stachels
(2) Fisherman's Musettes :
(3) Canvas satchels :
(4) Business bags :
(5) Travel bags Bleu de Chauffe :
(6) Our Backpacks :
(7) Our artisanal tote-bags :
(8) Women's leather bags