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Behind the Scenes: A Look Inside Chargeurs PCC's Historic Factory in Northern France

Behind the Scenes: A Look Inside Chargeurs PCC's Historic Factory in Northern France

Nestled in northern France lies Lainière de Picardie, the historic factory established in 1903 that forms the heart of Chargeurs PCC. As one of the nine factories operated by Chargeurs PCC worldwide, Lainière de Picardie stands as a testament to the company’s rich heritage and enduring commitment to excellence in textile manufacturing. From its familial origins to its global reach, Lainière de Picardie is a symbol of resilience and innovation. Join us as we explore the story behind Lainière de Picardie and its pivotal role in shaping the legacy of Chargeurs PCC.

The Birth of Lainière de Picardie: A Legacy Begins

Lainière de Picardie (originally called Etablissements Nautré) was established in 1903 by Albert Nautré, marking the beginning of what would become LPBC (Lainière de Picardie Buire Courcelles), initially focused on mechanical weaving. This familial enterprise faced significant challenges during World War I, with the factory being destroyed. It wasn't until 1925 that reconstruction allowed work to resume.

1960 - Bureau d'études coll. Hugues Bouvard

The Evolution of Interlining: Craftsmanship and Innovation

In its early years, LPBC specialized in producing Guipé, a process involving the wrapping of cleaned and calibrated horsehair with crossed cotton threads. This horsehair provided the necessary stiffness for the threads, which were used to produce Tailor’s Canvas, a key component in creating chest reinforcements for jackets and coats. This activity continued until 1970.

Following Albert Nautré's death, his wife managed the factory during World War II, producing fabrics for prisoner shirts, although the factory operated at a slower pace. In 1945, the post-war period saw the launch of interlining production. The process involved boiling, cooling, and wringing out the interlining, which was then folded and placed on wooden supports. By 1950, the company had evolved its name to Lainière de Picardie.

Modern Interlining Production: Growth and Global Reach

In 1962, LPBC began producing interlining as we know it today. The company grew by providing personalized support to clients and addressing their specific needs. Rigorous and meticulous quality checks ensured customer satisfaction, leading to success, especially in Tailor’s Canvas and pre-fabricated interlining. In 1965, a new collection of fusible interlinings was introduced. These lighter interlinings were applied directly to fabric using heat presses, eventually surpassing Tailor’s Canvas in popularity by 1970.

Wujiang, 1996 (coll. Hubert Sotière)

This period also marked the beginning of LPBC's international exports, with up to 75% of production being shipped to around fifty countries. Building on this international success, in 1996, machinery from the French factory was exported to two new Chargeurs PCC factories in China, including one in Wujiang, which remains operational today.

Joining Chargeurs and Continuing Innovation

In 1981, the factory became part of the Chargeurs group, further solidifying its position in the global textile industry. The factory is traversed by the Cologne, a small stream that supplies water to the facility. Thanks to a double purification system, the discharged water is clean, reflecting the factory's commitment to sustainability.

To stay at the forefront of textile manufacturing, LPBC continually invests in new machinery and technological advancements. This commitment to modernization ensures that the factory not only maintains its high standards of quality but also improves efficiency and productivity. These ongoing upgrades are crucial in keeping LPBC competitive in the global market and meeting the evolving demands of the textile industry.

Preserving Tradition, Embracing Innovation

A video accompanying this article provides an inside look at LPBC’s production process, highlighting the five essential steps in creating interlining: warping, knitting, finishing, coating, and inspection. This blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern techniques showcases LPBC's dedication to excellence.

Looking Towards the Future

Lainière de Picardie is not just preserving its rich heritage but also looking forward to a sustainable and innovative future. Key initiatives include:

  • Circularity: Emphasizing recycling and sustainable practices to minimize waste and environmental impact.
  • New Machines: Continuous investment in state-of-the-art machinery to enhance production capabilities and maintain competitive advantage.
  • Carbon Footprint Calculation: Implementing measures to accurately calculate and reduce the factory's carbon footprint, underscoring a commitment to environmental responsibility.

Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future

Lainière de Picardie stands as a proud testament to Chargeurs PCC’s storied history and bright future. From its humble beginnings in the heart of Picardy to its status as a global leader in textile manufacturing, LPBC embodies the values of innovation, quality, and sustainability that define Chargeurs PCC. As we continue to honor our past and embrace the future, Lainière de Picardie will remain a cornerstone of our success, inspiring generations to come with its remarkable legacy. 

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