The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

2 weeks ago


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Packed with fabulous features and fantastic photos, inspiring, entertaining and informative guides, mouth-watering recipes from top chefs, history, culture and much much more. Discover Belle Epoque Paris, picturesque Provence, and captivating Cassis. Fabulous destinations in the north and the south of France, what's on, what's new and what to cook for a taste of France! Bringing France to you - wherever you are.

The last Scourtinerie in

The last Scourtinerie in France In Nyons, in the Drome department, south of France, you can witness a timeless Provençal tradition, the ancient craft of weaving ‘scourtins’ - round filter mats that are made from natural coconut fibres. Jeremy Flint visits a workshop where the old matmaking customs are treasured. Walking into the Scourtinerie workshop on the banks of the river Eygues, I felt as if I had stepped back in time. The sight of age-old machinery and the rattling of steel spindles ringing loud was mesmerising as coloured fabric spun in a frenzied state, becoming increasingly entangled as the threads took shape, weaving the weft to create circles. The Fert family established La Scourtinerie in 1882 to make traditional scourtins, a circular filter that’s used for filtration in the extraction of olive oil and wine from presses. They already owned a successful woollen weaving firm, and after coming up with the idea to make scourtins, Ferdinand Fert invented and patented the first circular weaving machine in 1892. It was an incredible feat of engineering. He also introduced coconut fibres into French weaving. Such is the strength and quality of the fibres, they have been used by generations of Fert family scourtin makers for the last 140 years. Business was good until the ravaging frosts of 1956 destroyed the olive trees. Orders for scourtins reduced drastically, and for a while the company looked like it would have to close. But when the family realised that people used the old scourtins for doormats, George and Alain Fert, Ferdinand’s son and grandson who clearly inherited his gift for innovation, had the genius idea to transform scourtins into mats. As competitor businesses closed over the years, the company became the last Scourtinerie in France. Today, they still make traditional scourtins used as filters for olive oil, cider, fruit and wine presses, and they also make decorative scourtins used as table mats, place mats, door mats, carpets and rugs. This diversified product range is available in 25 different colours and many sizes, and you won’t find anything like these unique artisanal pieces made anywhere else in France. Now Sophie Villeneuve-Fert, the founder’s great-great granddaughter, the 5th generation of the family to weave scourtins, is ensuring the continuity of this fascinating craft, whilst continuing the company’s incredible legacy. Sophie is passionate about her role in this family business. “The craft of La Scourtinerie allows me to have direct interactions with our customers, and I Sophie with bobbins of dyed yarn fibre 50 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 51

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