News — France
Olivades: the Pride of Provence
"They have set a goal:
to perpetuate the ancestral art of printing on fabrics in le Sud de la France, while evolving and adapting it to the present day."
The Olavides story starts in 1818, when a company of printers formed in the village of Saint-Étienne-du-Grès to create distinctive printed fabrics, a Provençal specialty with origins dating back to the 17th century. Today, Olivades carries-on the tradition—combining longstanding techniques with fresh designs—and now works with contemporary artists such as Nathalie du Pasquier to create fresh styles for the modern world.
Still manufactured in the South of France, Olivades remains the foremost contemporary producer of traditional étoffes imprimées (printed fabrics), and the last Provençal factory continuing this storied craft, which first blossomed in France more than four centuries ago, when woodblock-printed tissus arrived in Marseille via eastern trade routes.
Shop the F+F Olivades collection >>>
This past summer, our ongoing pursuit of exceptional objects took us back to France, where we spent time trekking through Paris, Lyon and Nice in search of new cool items to bring to Flotsam+Fork. No matter where we went—whether it was hardware stores, kitchen supply shops, or specialty retailers—we were drawn to the incredible variety of France's regional pocketknives.
Of course the most famous examples of this phenomenon are the Laguiole and Opinel, but in conversations with knife merchants and experts, we learned that almost every part of the country has its own unique form of folding blade—typically inspired by the traditions and demands of the region.
With the new Flotsam+Fork French Knife Collection, we bring you some of our favorite shapes and styles—an assortment that represents the range and diversity of the French pocket knife.
The L'armor folding knife's singular style is the product of its maritime Breton origins, signified by the brass anchor inlay on the horn handle. Designed for use by mariners and fishermen of Bretagne. The rounded top edge of the blade is meant to protect sailors from inadvertent stabbing on rough seas. >>>
An essential tool long popular among the farmers and seaman of France's northwest coast. The Pradel, first made in Thiers more than 150 years ago, became famous for its sturdy construction and its signature snap—instantly recognizable—upon closing. "C'est un Pradel!"
3.5" pocket knife blade with classic Pradel-style horn handle. Available with or without corkscrew. >>>
Originally a shepherd's essential in the southwestern region of Occitane, the Laguiole in now one of the most famous pocketknives on the planet.
This Laguiole-style folding knife comes with a polished horn handle and brass end caps. Handle also features the signature bee stamp and cross of pins. Legend has it that devout shepherds in the field would stick their Laguioles in the ground and prey towards the cross on the handle. Available with or without corkscrew. >>>
Laguiole (Olive, Ebony, Alum)
Originally designed in 1969 to withstand the salty sea air of the Mediterranean, these incredible clothes pins are still manufactured today by the Violet family in their workshop in the south of France.
Made from a single strip of industrial grade stainless steel, Pincinox clothespins will never rust, break, or loose their spring.
Not just perfect for hang-drying your laundry, Pincinox are useful for a variety of additional tasks, including clipping posters and holding cards and photos upright.
Flotsam+Fork says farewell to a favorite
The only way to describe this news is "devastating". We just learned from our distributor that they are discontinuing the iconic multi-colored product line of Therias & L'econome kitchen utensils.
Fortunately, we still have a few L'econome products in stock, so you can still get your hands on some of these fantastic products from one of our all-time favorite French cutlery makers. Sadly, there aren't many left.
So don't miss this chance to own one of the final Therias & L'econome items—with the classic three umbrella logo—Flotsam+Fork ever sells.