Julien Faure, Ribbon Designer Since 1864

Founded in 1864 by Henri Faure, the house of Julien Faure is today heir to more than 150 years of tradition and textile know-how in the region of Saint-Etienne. Historically a leading exporter, the company has never merely remained in the domestic market. Julien Faure brings the richness of ribbon to the world, from the United States to the United Arab Emirates.
Labeled a Living Heritage Company, the company builds on its 150 years of experience. This ambassador of high-end ribbon delivers its history with the utmost modernity: it is a family history, an industrial history, a fashion history, a history of sensorial design.
02_Registre-de-patron_Julien-Faure_photo[c]Sylvie-MarotJulien Faure Pattern Book. Photo credit: Sylvie Marot.
Creating both ribbons and silks, the enterprise is at once an active repository of the know-how of its ribbon-makers and a center of technical and stylistic innovation. Initially specialized in labels and ornamental church ribbons, the house diversified its activities over time, coming to produce Jacquard ribbons and silks for the novelty market before entering into couture and the universe of luxury. Since its founding, the company has invented over 40,000 ribbons and fabrics. Its only limit is the imagination of its clients! The imminent opening of an online boutique has also been announced.
The Saint-Etienne Museum of Art and Industry, celebrating its anniversary, maintains a collection of couture dresses made of Julien Faure ribbons. This unique collection raises awareness of the exceptional, simple though it can sometimes appear.
05_Franck_Sorbier_Couture_Robe_Ernani_AH2006_300_m_de_galons_rubans_faconnes_et_broches_rubans_Julien_FAURE_expo_Les_Enrubannees_coll_MAISE_inv.2008.42.1__photo_[c]_Jerome_SchlomoffFranck Sorbier Autum/Winter 2006 Haute Couture Ernani Dress made of 300 meters of Julien Faure ribbons. Photo credit: Jérôme Schlomoff.
3 questions for Julien Faure, 5th generation and current head of the eponymous house:

As an active conservatory of know-how, can you tell me about the role of your archives?
We maintain various textile archives. On one hand there are those of our company, containing pattern books that describe techniques, pages of samples for ribbon and all of the colors available for a given article, and some bolts of fabric (called rebracks). On the other hand, there are archives of disbanded companies which we have been able to acquire over time. We can cite Fraisse-Merley, Schoeler, Guinard, Jacquet, Bouchut Bernard, etc. These archives are similarly composed of pattern books, bolts of fabric, and sketches. There are also some commercial documents and writings concerning business deals.
As a technical and stylistic innovator, what is the role of research and development at your house?
We have always spent about 10% of our turnover on R&D, including all work in developing collections, new products and new clientele. This strong position is a part of our identity and we often find ourselves in the position of being copied. Today our business employs 45 people, of whom 7 work in the creation of new products and collections. Our teams, of course, have access to our archives.
ISE_inv.2008.42.1__photo[c]Jerome-SchlomoffPhoto credit: Jérôme Schlomoff

The production of ribbon is very variable. For the simplest and fastest ribbons, we can produce 150 meters on a single band; the loom can weave up to 20 ribbons at a time. On the contrary, for more complicated articles in natural silk, the speed will be about 8 meters a day for a single band. And so, for a finished object, it can take several months to produce if the object is completely new (thread, construction, special characteristics). On the other hand, given the scope of products already developed here, a simple modification can be done in as little as a few hours or few days and yield an innovative product.
Ribbon: an object of “high emotion”?
The value given to emotion is always high. Of course, it is not everyday because unfortunately as the director, I must sometimes spend my days on other subjects than those which are creative. There is nevertheless a true “recreation” in being able to concentrate on “creation.” Emotion is present when handling the archives of a heavily-worked project, for example. The possibilities offered by the combination of Jacquard weaving and shuttle weaving, fortunately, still over me plenty of opportunities to be amazed!
www.julien-faure.fr
Cover Photo: Julien Faure Ribbon by Sylvie Marot