Création Catalane' is the last surviving artisanal business specializing in making espadrilles and 'vigatanes' (pronounced 'bigatanes'). This was traditional Catalan footwear, being espadrilles with long, cotton ribbons to criss-cross up the wearer's legs. Based in St Laurent de Cerdans, the business was started in 2008 after the closure of the last artisan sandal makers. Employing fully-qualified craftspeople, 'Création Catalane' is the sole custodian of this historic skill, an integral part of our Catalan culture.
First and foremost we are craftspeople and will never become a multinational company. Our goal is not quantity but quality ; making footwear in a time-honoured fashion.
For a long time St Laurent de Cerdans was the pre-eminent capital of the espadrille. In the 19 th century, 10% of all French shoes were made here, and in the 1940s our village of 4,000 inhabitants was producing 10,000 pairs a day. With 20 espadrille businesses, the populaton of the whole valley was in work.
We are unusual in the footwear world to use the sewing technique known as 'petit point'. This is the Blake stitching method which means that the inner cotton lining, any inner sole and the rope sole parts are sewn together in one go.
They are hard-wearing, demonstrated by being worn to take part in the legendary race up Mount Canigou and worn in both the Paris and Dubai marathons.
In the summer, we organise visits (by reservation only) to see our craft in action. St Laurent de Cerdans is nestled in the valley of the High Vallespir, just one hour by car from Perpignan. We look forward to welcoming you !
All our espadrilles are entirely made in our workshop, according to an ancestral process combining tradition and modernity.