There is evidence of a leather trade in the Tarn as early as the Middle Ages. The tanning of small hides and skins was established in Graulhet, making it the capital of the leather industry. Today, the meticulousness and skills of the craftsmen constitute an extraordinary heritage, by which even the greatest designers are inspired for their collections.
The history of leatherwork is told in Graulhet
In the 19th century, a few dozen kilometres from Graulhet, industrialists from Mazamet set up buying points for woollen skins and sold them to the Graulhet leather goods manufacturers. It was thanks to the technical innovation "délainage à l'échauffe", allowing the skin to be separated from the wool using heat, that the skins could be sold to the Graulhet leatherworkers, ready to be transformed into leather. In the early 1900s, there were 150 leatherworking workshops in Graulhet employing more than 3,000 workers.
Now famous, the stretch leather invented by Cuir du Futur confirmed Graulhet as a leatherworking centre of world renown.
No shortage of leatherworkers in Graulhet
All the secrets of leatherworking are revealed in the Tarn, while you can also enjoy the craft boutiques to do a little shopping. In front of the wallets, card-holders, bags and other leather goods of such high quality, you'll have to give into temptation! Sleek and elegant designs for both men and women, purchasing your leather goods in Graulhet is to value French goods and Tarn expertise. La Cartablière offers 100% feminine products, always including sequins, with starburst finishes for a trendy and up-to-date collection. At Maroquinerie Serres, there is a wide variety of products with bright colours and a classic style for all genders.
During a self-guided visit or guided tour, you'll discover the trades of the leatherworker. From the river to the worshop via the tannery, the stages of the transformation of the skin into leather are explained in this former leather factory. Both a technique and a craft, a real alchemy has been created at Graulhet.
In Graulhet, leather is in our DNA!
This event takes place every autumn and is not to be missed: Graulhet, le Cuir dans la Peau! It's an opportunity to visit the companies working in leather and meet the passionate professionals who are always delighted to talk to those who are interested. It's also a good time to buy “made in Graulhet” leather products. Many of the companies, often with EPV status (Living Heritage Companies) work with and supply leather to the great French Haute Couture houses. This is an opportunity to grab a unique piece, worthy of the greatest fashion shows.