Wednesday, July 13, 2016

House of Hurel: The Artisans Behind the Couture

Watch the artisans create beautiful hand embroidery at House of Hurel.

The runways have been filled with beautiful stitchery and beadwork for the last few seasons, and it is a trend after my own heart.  I love the magic and mastery of all that gorgeous, old-world embellishment, and I often wonder who makes the fabrics? These kinds of pieces seem less like clothing and more like tapestries or flowing sculpture.

House of Hurel Textiles and Broderies creates and manufactures many of the fabrics used in those beautiful dresses we admire from haute couture houses. 

In 1879, Madamoiselle Jeanne Hurel created a hand embroidery workshop during a season of Parisian festivities organized to receive the Grand Russian Dukes. Many of these notables spent their vacation time (and a vast amount of their fortunes) in the Côte d'Azur as well as Paris, and Madamoiselle Hurel provided them with beautiful French embroidery pieces.  Read more about the Hurel history here.

The workshop has continued to be one of the most sought-after sources of fine hand embroidery.  When you drool over the embroidery or lace creations by Chanel and Valentino, you're admiring the hand stitched artwork of the Hurel workshop.

One of the things I love most about Hurel -- other than the incredible craftsmanship of the work produced there -- is the dedication to "safeguarding the independence of its hand embroidery workshop."  In an age of mass-production, this is the kind of old school shop I love to support.  (Although it is unlikely I'll ever purchase a Valentino couture dress, a girl can dream!)

Hurel also make beautiful silks, velvets, patterned material, tulle, linen and unique reworked lace.
The fabrics are woven with natural fibers and are dyed in ways that meet the European REACH standards to safeguard human health and the environment.  This provides the textiles with protection against harmful chemicals.

Be sure to watch the short video at the top of this post for a peek into the artisans at work.  Here is even more about the studio.  This one is in French, but even if you don't speak the language you will be able to see more of the gorgeous handiwork:

Video by Mode and Hureltissu

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