Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant

Canvas, sunshine, creativity and know-how: Les Toiles du Soleil revives the authentic tradition of Catalan weaving

How about we pay a visit on Les Toiles du Soleil, the last remaining French supplier of canvas and heels for Catalan espadrilles and high-class canvas for deckchairs? The company, which obtained the EPV label in 2009, has bridged the centuries by giving a new face to its fabrics without losing their Catalan identity. Giving free rein to their imaginations and making use of their creative talent, the new owners have succeeded in preserving certain typical motifs and colours of Catalan weaving, while adapting them to current trends. Read on for details...

Saint-Laurent-de-Cerdans was one of the centres of weaving of cotton fabrics for the production of espadrilles. In 1993, thanks to the energy, determination and creative passion of Françoise and Henri Quinta, the company Sans & Garcerie, founded in 1897, was taken over and renamed Les Toiles du Soleil.

The twelve weavers started up the warping machines once more, the wooden shuttles resumed their noisy passage back and forth across the looms, and a technique more than a century old was preserved, thanks to a growing market for household linen and interior decoration.

Easily identifiable, the workshop’s 100% cotton fabrics adhere to a precise striped design.

Artistic director Henri Quinta shares his passion for colours:



This is how, using traditional weaving methods, the ‘sunshine canvases’ to which the company’s name refers are made, guardians of authentic French know-how that has been preserved and passed on since the 19th century here in Saint-Laurent-de-Cerdans.

The fabrics and a wide variety of finished products – deckchairs, tablecloths, napkins, aprons, cushions and curtains – will then make their way to Perpignan and Paris, and even as far afield as New York and Tokyo, carrying in their stripes a bit of this Catalan sunshine.

15 April 2013