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ACLE 2019 - Cuirs du Futur: the French tannery that invented stretch leather
Véronique Saunier | 30 November 2020

Cuirs du Futur is a tannery and manufacturer of stretch leather, based in Graulhet, France, the historic capital of the leather industry.

In 1992, a partnership with Du Pont De Nemours enabled the first application of Lycra® fabric in the leather industry. The Lycra® lining composed with elastane fibres, allows for the leather to which it is bonded to become elastic and retain its original form after being stretched.

 

 

It took the company ten years to improve the product and turn it into what it is today: a thin, light product of 0.2 mm which no longer requires lining; boasting 30 per cent elasticity whilst retaining the leather’s technical and aesthetic characteristics and machine washable at 20 degrees Celsius. The concept can be applied to plongé and suede and the product can be printed and embossed. It is commercialized under the name Magisco and is used by luxury fashion brands such as Jitrois and Clergerie.

Owing to its combination of tradition and innovation, Cuirs du Futur has acquired a prestigious designation from the French government label «Entreprise du patrimoine vivant » that rewards the excellence of French know-how.

“Our product revolutionized the use of leather in the Haute Couture industry,” affirms the company’s Export Manager, Laurent Bové.

Indeed, 80 per cent of Magisco production goes to the making of garments. 10 per cent is allocated for making tight boots also known as a second skin and another 10 per cent for footwear and orthopaedic shoes.

With 40 per cent of the company’s turnover derived from the United States and with production taking place in China, Cuirs du Futur has been caught in the middle of the trade conflict between the two countries. “We are in no good position,” admits Bové, “but we try to recover market shares by keeping prices down and by adopting a “stand by” attitude.”

 

 

In order to overcome the potential slowing business activity, Cuirs du Futur has launched a new line of products for the global market as well as a particularly shiny one called “foil design” specifically designed for the Chinese market.

To answer the demand for sustainable products it also introduced vegetable tanning and metal-free tanning into its production. Its “vegetable plongé” made out of imported raw material from New Zealand is set to become a hit, according to Bové.

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