The city of Thiers: Interwoven with the French cutlery trade
The Auvergne region’s beautiful brand image
Thiers is a city located in the Puy-de-Dôme department in the French region of Auvergne. This municipality is comprised of 13,000 inhabitants and is one of the department’s four sub-prefectures.
The city is geographically situated in the Livradois-Forez National Park in the east of the department between the Limagne plains and the foothills of the Forez mountain range.
The Durolle river runs along the city’s border and is one of the Dore river’s tributaries.
The knife: The city of Thiers’ symbol
This city’s image is synonymous with the image of cutlery. Thiers is rightly considered to be the French knife manufacturing capital. Hundreds of regional enterprises work in this knife manufacturing territory. There is even a museum dedicated to knives.
Cutlery has cradled life in Thiers for the past six centuries. 70-80% of all pocket, kitchen and table knives “Made in France” are created by enterprises which are located in this city. These enterprises form the solid base of this region’s industry.
A majority of these enterprises are comprised of only ten employees, facilitating the conservation of their specific artisanal heritage. The Thiernois cutlers’ knowledge, which is rooted in a secular tradition, has underpinned the city’s reputation not only in France but worldwide.
The veritable history of French knives
The era of Louis XIV: Catalyst
If the knife was really invented during Roman times, it did not really make an appearance in daily life until the 17th century. Developments on the invention of the pocketknife can be correlated with society’s evolution.
The incorporation of pockets into men’s suits at the end of Louis XIV’s reign and the evolution of table manners resulted in the popularity of pocketknives.
Since the 19th century, Thiers, cradle of French cutlery, was home to a multitude of forges which exhibited the earliest form of industrialization. As the reputation of the diverse and uniquely formed Theirnois knives grew both regionally and internationally the town of their origin, Thiers, grew along with them.
The French knife today
Today Thiers has confirmed its position as leader of the French knife manufacturing market by increasing its industry’s professionalism while working towards its development. Various products leave its factories and workshops yearly:
- Folding knives
- Professional knives
- Table knives
- Bread, steak, cheese or butter knives
- Utility knives
- Blades for kitchen appliances
Thousands of articles are produced every year. The methods for fabricating these genuine French knives are founded on the knowledge and mastery of numerous generations of cutlers.
Coutellia, the international knife fair in Thiers, is a famous event which permits cutlers from the four corners of the world to show their work. Impassioned collectors, prestigious companies and hotels consider Coutellia to be an event that should not to be missed.