Not too long ago, a Fibre Mood fan full of fab French bloggers set course for Normandy. The final destination? BOHIN France!
Bohin is the only needles and pins factory still running in France. That made it one-of-a-kind field trip – one that gave us the chance to observe the (French) needle and pin-manufacturing tradition up close. We spent the whole afternoon gaping at the impressive machines, techniques and precision work employed to make needles and pins. The best thing about it? Bohin products aren’t just the best-of-the-best as far as quality goes – they’ve also got an awesome retro look. We’re talking serious eye-catchers for your sewing room!
Curious to find out what the ladies thought? You can read about it and see it here!
‘The BOHIN France field trip was really a wonderful experience. It was the perfect opportunity to meet other Sewistas and to exchange ideas. This exchange of ideas was the common thread for the whole afternoon. We were introduced to needlepoint, an impressive technique because of the incredible precision involved, and we learned all about the different steps of the manufacturing process. The icing on the cake was the passion and tremendous enthusiasm to share knowledge that inundated the whole visit. We learned so much without even really realising it. We had the time of our lives!'
‘It was a fantastic day! To start out, I was really happy to meet the girls ‘in real life’. Normally we only see and hear from each other online. Getting together went seamlessly and was so heart-warming! I also met several bloggers whose Instagram accounts I wasn’t following yet. The mood was really great and, it goes without saying, there was tons of back and forth about our shared passion, sewing and knitting!
It was also super cool to meet two people from behind the scenes of Fibre Mood. Isabelle told us about how Fibre Mood got started, and I love her story! She gave me a different perspective on the brand and made me feel even more loyal to Fibre Mood. Aside from Isabelle, Julie was also there; we already knew this cheerful dear from Instagram.
When we arrived at BOHIN, I was blown away by all the machines. The historic tradition is absolutely worthy of admiration. I was really in awe of the work done by the people in the workshops. There was a huge sense of professionalism, and yet the atmosphere remained warm and family-like.
Seeing the whole chain of needle production gives us an awareness of how valuable the materials we use every day are (Including the needles lying around the house – yep, those.). I'm 100% sure that from now on I'll keep that in mind and treat them better!
In short, I had a super day thanks to Fibre Mood. It was all about my hobby, needle and thread, and I met some great new people!’
We arrive in a town I've been to loads of times, Saint-Sulpice-sur-Risle! I've frequently stopped there on my way to one outing or another. And as it turns out, it’s also home to a famous needle factory!
BOHIN France is a factory steeped in beauty and history. I was happy as a clam exploring the surroundings, the factory, the river surrounding the property, the shop. It felt like spending the whole day in a sweet shop!
After lunch, we discovered breathtaking artisanry, Alençon lace, presented by Artextiles’ Charlène Poret. It features extremely delicate and meticulous art, knowledge and technique! Charlène possesses amazing know-how that has got to be preserved at all costs.
On to the next stop! The factory visit!
When we got there, I learnt the astonishing tale of an 8-year-old boy who wanted to make needles. On entering the factory, everything changes – the colours, the noise, the smell...
There are so many machines, so many steps intended to ultimately produce our magic weapon – so often abused by its wielders – the needle!
I was astonished at how much is involved in creating this tiny product. In my opinion, the Bohin needle is a product with a high level of craft and quality. And that quality is something that has been passed on from generation to generation. It’s something that’s also reflected in the permanent exhibition.
My heartfelt thanks to Coralie, Audrey, Christophe and the whole team of BOHIN France for this fantastic day. It was an educational day, one on which it felt like time stood still.
--- @Rouge Cerise Paris - Aline
‘What an incredibly rewarding day! We had front row seating while the secrets of French needle production were revealed – very cool. I really got a kick out of the enthusiasm of the employees; the demo and the genuine expertise they have is really impressive!
--- @lagouagouache - Laura
My day at Bohin's? It was awesome! It was totally worth the train ride there! The day was packed with absolutely lovely sewing-related encounters and there wasn't even a sewing machine to be seen! Everyone was decked out from head to toe for the occasion in their finest Fibre Mood creations.
Without Fibre Mood, I would never have had the chance to visit this gorgeous factory. Bohin is a place where every employee does their work with an incredible passion for their profession and with incredible precision. Fun fact: did you know that each little straight pin is sorted one by one by hand to arrive at the perfect shape?
While the factory was super impressive, I've got to admit that the best part of the day was the get-together we had as passionate sewers! I’d never spoken to anyone in ‘real life’ and only knew the Sewistas from Instagram or their blogs. (Stressful...) Now we got to see each other face-to-face, without Instagram filters! And it was amazing! Till next time?!
--- @Fais_moi_syne - Sandrine
It never occurred to me that so many steps and so much care are required to make my needles. It goes without saying that I have a different perspective on these little miracles now!
--- @Happy_as_a_bee_ - Valentine
Every sewer or embroiderer knows and uses Bohin; the little needle or pin kits with their typical vintage look are a classic in sewing rooms! Bohin is a quality reference that's been around since... That's when you say something like: ‘Hasn’t Bohin been around forever?’
We arrive in beautiful surroundings: an old factory, the buildings of which extend along the banks of a river, nestled in the Normandy Bocage.
After a cosy meal, Charlène Poret introduced us to Alençon's art of lace. She demonstrated an old needlework technique, which has become incredibly rare nowadays. What a marvel!
Coralie shared the history of the company with us, which dates back to the dawn of the 19th century. After that, we followed the entire production chain of a needle, and let me tell you, it involves bucketloads of expertise! The multiple meticulous phases and the particular machines (old and contemporary) required were presented with tremendous pride by the workers themselves.
The atmosphere was welcoming, from owner to worker, and everyone answered our volley of questions with the same quality of kindness. The accompanying shop is an honest-to-goodness sweet shop with all kinds of needles and scissors in every size and colour!
I enjoyed discovering how Bohin is a contemporary business rooted in history. That history is tangible in the solid presence of founder Benjamin Bohin, the family-like atmosphere, the mix of old and contemporary machinery and the craftsmanship that comes above all else.
--- @astreeinsta - Esther
Ladies, thanks for all your enthusiasm during our outing! We had a blast!
Are you keen to visit BOHIN France yourself now? BOHIN France is just a two-hour drive from Paris and is seriously worth the stop!