The charente, a bootie in search of geographical indication


Six enterprises manufacturing slippers, in the Charente and Dordogne, called for the creation of a geographical indication (Photo JOEL SAGET. AFP)

Six enterprises manufacturing slippers, in the Charente and Dordogne, called for the creation of a geographical indication (GI) in order to protect the quality and craftsmanship of the famous chausson French, said Wednesday the national Institute of industrial property (Inpi).

A public inquiry was opened in order to approve this indication and, if the dossier submitted by the Association for the promotion of the charentais (APC), in Angoulême, is accepted, will lead to a licence here in the month of November.

About 300,000 pairs of slippers in stitched returned, a technical history of manufacturing, are manufactured each year by these six companies employ some 210 people, for a total turnover of around € 5 million in 2016.

The charente appeared in the late Nineteenth century in the Charente, Dordogne and the south of the Limousin “to recycle leftovers from the manufacturing of the textile industries and paper mills located on the river Charente and its tributaries,” says the Institute in a press release.

“The pens and paper were made of wool. After having served for the pressing and have absorbed the water from the paper pulp, they became waterproof. The savetiers local then had the idea to recover the felts to make them soft soles and comfortable”, he explained.

The technical history of the manufacture of these slippers is the “sewn back”, a technique that allows you to assemble with a thread of hemp, the sole of felt or leather and the shaft, before returning to the liner to give it its final form.

The law known as the “consumption” has expanded the geographical indications for manufactured products, and not only to the agricultural products and wine, for recognizing the quality and origin of products of handicraft and industry. Three geographical indications have already been approved by the Inpi: the seat of Liffol (Vosges), the granite of Brittany, and the porcelain of Limoges.

The current files are the Aubusson tapestry, the garnet of Perpignan, the stone of Burgundy, and the soap of Marseille. The application of GIS to the sneakers of Mauléon on the other hand has been refused.

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