A few minutes from the Perpignan train station, in southwest France, lies a precious gem of French craftsmanship. It is hidden behind a wooden door with a discreet sign. The most beautiful stories of craftsmen are family stories. Tricot Diogène has been a knitting specialist since the early 20th century. Today this small workshop is the last in France to make knitted ties.
Marlène, granddaughter of the founder, grew up hearing the hum of machines. Her grandfather, Monsieur Diogène, a tireless inventor, created the Chiquita, "the world's tiniest girdle", in the 1950s. The accessory was a huge success at the time. Her husband, Luc Bérenguer, joined her to take over the family atelier thirty years ago. A true knitting technician, Monsieur Bérenguer is the last person to know how to manipulate the cast iron machines built in 1905.
With their leather straps and original mechanisms, these machines have a unique character. Far from ties made "by the kilometer", Monsieur Bérenguer manually turns the crank to do the knitting. The heritage of grandfather Diogène is seen in each detail. For example, the neck of each tie is unlined since he believed this added to their comfort.