As early as the 12th century, its large sheep herds, exceptional lambskin quality, and river flowing through the town propelled Millau into its glove-making destiny. These skills
are still alive, thanks to four Living Heritage Companies. Favoured by Haute Couture designers and movie stars, Millau’s leather gloves are exported internationally.
© Olivier Saillant
Millau, the flower city of Occitania, is better known to the general public for its viaduct than for its gloves. However, Millau, on the banks of the Tarn, is first and foremost the capital of luxury gloves, with world-renowned know-how in leather work. Thousands of workers have made a living from leather work and today, a handful of craftsmen, some of whom are classified as living heritage companies, perpetuate the techniques and gestures of yesteryear. To make a glove, you need lambskin, water and hands. From there, more than 100 steps will be necessary to make a traditional glove, not to mention the preparation of the skins by the glove maker and then the finishing or dyeing of the leather by the leather worker. Pattern makers, cutters, stitchers, fitters, cut, sew, embroider and decorate the different parts of the gloves; a multitude of trades in small workshops or beautiful factories that maintain tradition and excellence. Karl Lagerfeld with his black mittens was the most famous ambassador. Between tradition and innovation, the know-how of the glove makers of Millau remains prized by the great couturiers for its refined skin.