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Forge de Laguiole

Forge de Laguiole factory was founded in 1987. This was the re-birth of making laguiole pattern knives in the city where they originated, but where they had languished for most of the 20th century. Honoring their venerated heritage, Forge de Laguiole crafts their edged creations using traditional techniques and materials in pursuit of the cutler’s art. They make the finest quality laguiole today and the only laguiole made in Laguiole, France.

The early blacksmiths of Laguiole called the original knife the "capuchadou", a multitool knife used by peasants of the Aubrac plateau. The blade of the knife was pointed and the handle made from oak or boxwood. The first folding knife produced in Laguiole in the 1820's was the Laguiole Droit, the straight Laguiole, a knife without a decorated bee and with a forced notch. As time went by, an awl in response to the needs of shepherds and livestock farmers. Between 1850 and 1860 the current shape of the Laguiole appears and becomes gradually refined. The blade curves up slightly in the Yatagan style and the handle has an elegant shape.

In 1909 the first bee appears instead of the floral motif. Legend has it that Napoleon I allowed the inhabitants of Laguiole to have a bee on the village’s coat of arms to reward them for their bravery. There is, however, no written record to confirm the legend. According to another legend Napoleon III was said to have granted use of the bee, although this can also be refuted. It has also been called a fly by certain makers. Whether a fly or bee its name is a mystery shrouded in legend.

The First World War led to the disappearance of the cutleries in Laguiole. From the end of the war, most Laguiole knives were produced in Thiers. From the 1960's, Laguiole's customers - largely agricultural workers were in decline, the production of handmade knives is minimal and, by the beginning of the 1980's, cutlery manufacture in Laguiole has almost ceased to exist.

In 1985, a group of Laguiole enthusiasts from the Aubrac plateau create the conditions for the return of Laguiole knife manufacture to its birthplace. The renaissance of the Forge de Laguiole becomes a reality in 1987. It was the culmination of a project dreamt up by a group of enthusiasts, including politicians and local business people, to reinstate the manufacture of Laguiole knives in the village of Laguiole. Every stage of the knife manufacture is now carried out again in its place of origin. Their expertise in forging our knives is drawn from the very soul of the Aubrac plateau - their inspiration. From the outset, Forge de Laguiole has worked to develop its manufacturing skills with respect for traditional know-how. Once a small knife used locally, the Laguiole knife has now become a cult object, a design reference synonymous with art de vivre and French gastronomy. The making of Laguiole knives has returned to Laguiole.

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