Grenoble
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Handle with kid gloves
The French city of Grenoble used to be the world's luxury glove center but the arrival of Asian imitations at far cheaper prices have made these hand-made gems almost obsolete. The Ganterie Lesdiguieres Barnier is France's last maker of kid gloves, and its master glover, Jean Strazzeri, has been cutting gloves for half a century. Today he trains a few young people in his art but he's worried there won't be a succession. He's a rare thing - a glove maker who has won the coveted Meilleur Ouvrier de France award, which makes him one of the country's top craftsmen. Drop by the shop or better yet, organize a tour through the Grenoble Tourist Office and find out why it takes 22 separate pieces of kidskin to make a single glove.
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