Impeccable craftsmanship can be seen in Lavabre Cadet’s Paris showroom.
The Lavabre Cadet glove company has existed since 1946, purchased by Camille Fournet twelve years ago.
Millau, a small commune south of France, is the heart of Lavabre Cadet’s glove operation. The area holds a long tradition of glove-making.
Who are the behind-the-scenes craftsmen? The cutter and seamstress.
The cutter makes the pattern and cuts the leather. After, the seamstress sews and finishes the glove, using a combination of machine-stitching and handwork. She also assembles the lining and fixes the button-snap closure.
Prior to cutting, all leather is stretched by hand. After some wear, the leather should shrink and fit more snugly.
For fit: RTW gloves differ by half sizes. MTO offers quarter-sized precision. With bespoke, the greatest variation. You can measure the length of each finger and craft a glove fitting that.
Lavabre Cadet has gone beyond with their designs– making touchskin gloves (in black lambskin) that has been treated by special dyeing and finishing, but making it less soft. They can even make orthopedic gloves for atypical hands.
With bespoke (and to some extent MTO), you can choose the smallest details, all the way down to stitching. You can have piped edges, hand-stitched edges, or invisible-stitching (i.e. inside stitching). Whether your glove has nerves (the decorative lines across the back of your hand) is your choice.
Pricing depends on leather choice.
Gloves can be made in lambskin, deerskin, peccary, and natural woolen sheepskin, for example. Peccary is the best – a skin made from javalinas, a pig-like mammal, and are the most expensive.
Peccary costs € 800 for ready-to-wear and € 1035 for bespoke. To touch, peccary is soft and supple; if you can afford it, I’d recommend it. Lambskin is much cheaper at $373.
Why is peccary so expensive? Because it’s difficult to find good peccary skin. Being from the wild, javalina skins suffer more blemishes, making good skins rarer for leatherwork.
More unusual skins include alligator, capybara, ostrich, which can be combined with the former. As you can see on Lavabre Cadet’s website, they make for interesting textures on buckles and embellishments.
If I may use the word sublime, Lavabre Cadet’s gloves are so.
Their hand stitching looks remarkably neat. So is the tight machine-stitching. Their leather looks first-rate, with a “hand-made” quality to each glove. The quality finishing matches the skin, which feels robust.
I ordered bespoke, given that my finger sizes were not consistent with their RTW. Marie-Hélène took my measurements and wonderfully guided me through the skins and process.