Meet Cyril Genet: a French silk-maker from Lyon

Cyril Genet and some of his silk creation

Jane Hanks talks to Lyon silk-maker Cyril Genet about the city’s heritage in the print industry and the skills required to make luxury goods

Lyon was once the silk capital of Europe and in the mid-19th century, three quarters of local industry was related to creating material from silk. Now, there are only a few weaving manufacturers left and just two workshops which transform and decorate the basic, woven, white silk material.

Cyril Genet is the descendant of a local silk decorating family and he explained the ancient techniques he practices in L’Atelier de Soierie, which is open for the public to visit.

What do you produce at the Atelier de Soierie?

Our family business started in 1890 and is dedicated to the printing and colouring of silk, the last step in the long silk process. We mainly produce scarves, shawls and ties and specialise in the reproduction of art for museums and art foundations around the world.

We have more than 100,000 designs which represent all the artistic periods from classic to contemporary, from Monet to Picasso.

We have been silk colourists in my family on my father’s side ...

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