Sunday, October 2, 2011

Herm Festival des Métiers

I have always held strong admiration for Hermès for their perseverance in keeping artistry and craftsmanship alive. Up to this day, Hermès still insists in creating their products by skilful artisans with as little help of machinery as possible. Knowing their Festival des Métiers is coming to Hong Kong, it was too great an opportunity for me to miss out. 
As many of you may already know that the first step to screen printing is to make negative films by each separate colour. It's unbelievably amazing that Hermès' films are all drawn by hand! Colours in a design would first be counted (there are 30 colours in the design in the pic above), and then handdrawn onto separate films. The time frame for making a Hermès scarf, from design to finish, is two years.
The next booth that we checked out is the serigraphy process. Hermès uses one specific type of silkworms to make all of their silk products, and all silk fabrics are woven right in Lyon, France. It takes at least 300 cocoons to make just one silk scarf, so you can imagine how tightly weaved are the scarves. They print from darkest colour to lightest, using different squegees to produce different levels of viscocity. Hermès has a secret recipe book of 7500 colours, mixing their own colours, and uses an average of 30 colours per scarf, max up to 45 colours.

The silk tie booth and leather booth are also very interesting and well worth a visit. Every artisans at the fair are so skilled, it was definitely a great afternoon well spent.

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