Having toured the world, the Hermès Festival des Métiers exhibition has finally arrived in Amsterdam. Celebrating the craftsmanship of the Hermès artisans, this exhibition is a dream for the fashion lover as one can get an unique peek inside on what it takes to make those coveted Hermès items.
Take the Hermès scarves for example. At the Hermès Festival des Métiers exhibition the printing and the sewing of the famous Hermès scarves is demonstrated. First designed in 1937 – all Hermès scarves are produced in Lyon, France -, up to 42 people can work on just one scarf. Fun fact is that it takes 24 months, 300 silk cocoons (1 cocoon produces approximately 1,500 meters silk) and, depending on the design of the scarf, up to 46 molds for all the various colours to make just one Hermès scarf.
Speaking about colours did you know that the printer starts with the darkest colours and the largest motives ending with the lightest colour and smallest motive? And that it takes between two to three years training for a printer to print the scarves?
The Hermès scarf seamstress at the exhibition also gave a great tip for anyone who owns a Hermès scarf. As the edges of a scarf are rolled, don’t iron the edges because the scarf would lose its typical feature.
Given all the work it entails to make just one Hermès scarf it’s no wonder that a Hermès scarf comes with a hefty price tag.
If you’re off to the Hermès Festival des Métiers exhibition do make sure to stop by the Hermès ties. It’s fascinating to see how the tie seamstress, transforms a large piece of fabric into an elegant tie. She can stitch 6 ties per hour.
Hermès tableware is a different story. The artisan can only paint a maximum of four to five hours a day as it’s too tiresome for the eyes. With the result that it can take up to one month before a plate is finished.
Of course, there’s also an artisan demonstrating how the famous Hermès bags are made, see the photo below. Unlike the Hermès scarves which are only made in Lyon, the Hermès bags are made in 15 ateliers in France.
Are bags, scarves and ties not your cup of tea? There are plenty of other things to see as well. How about a watch maker, who uses tiny parts to make a watch. Or what about a glove maker? The artisan at the exhibition is the one who cuts all leather parts for a glove. In total about eight to ten people work on a pair of gloves.
There’s also a Hermès saddle maker showing how saddles are made. As the Hermès Festival des Métiers takes place in De Hollandsche Manege (the Dutch riding school) – the oldest riding school of the Netherlands – the saddle maker is at home.
If you haven’t already do make sure to visit the Hermès Festival des Métiers exhibition as it’s a great way to spend your day.
On 1 – 10 April 2016 (11am-6pm) (closed 4 April) at De Hollandsche Manege, Overtoom next to number 179, Amsterdam.
Note: closed 4 April and free entry.