Faithful to the tradition of French Fan Making, Duvelleroy appealed to the know-how of more than ten artisans to shape its creations.
Engravers, Pleaters, and embroiderers are involved in the manufacturing of these precious objects. Frédérick gay, a fan maker, one of the last in France, assembles every fan by hand. Each duvelleroy fan is signed by the house's emblem, a golden daisy.
A fan leaf’s pattern demands mathematical precision. It is a vital element for all the manufacturing stages, from the pleating to the embroidering and the final assembly. The number and the width of pleats is dictated by the shape- the rounded « fontage », classic half-moon or square « mouchoir »- and by the frame’s design.
The leaf’s ennoblement belongs to expert craftsmen who patiently apply the gold paint and embroider the sequins with the thinnest thread. Rigorous and passionate, they let only the impeccable models leave the workshop.
The invention of the pleating mould in France more than two centuries ago allowed the development of textile fans. The practice has remained unchanged ever since. The pleating is a fast and precise gesture. The pleats’ symmetry must be perfect. The 90 shapes of pleating moulds preserved by the House of Duvelleroy are a vivid and very useful resource! One wrong pleat and the leaf must be thrown away, no matter the time spent manafacturing and embroidering.
The raw materials of horn, ebony and mother of pearl are cut up to obtain layers only 9/10 mm thick, which are then cut in the shape of the frame. The waste is significant but this is unavoidable in order to obtain frames with 14 sticks that lose nothing of their lightness. This requirement is the characteristic trademark of the French fan makers.
Once cut, the frame is entrusted to the fan maker who finishes each stick by polishing the material and engraving by hand the patterns on ebony or on mother of pearl. The sticks and guards are then assembled using a rivet. Fragile on their own, once united, the sticks are ready to cross the centuries.
The final stage is mastered only by the fan maker. It consists of uniting the leaf and the frame. The sticks are stuck one by one in the centre of every other pleat. The glue must be strong enough to last the fan for decades while being perfectly invisible. Once mounted, the leaf is hand trimmed. The fan is done.
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