The Goyard family originates from the town of Clamecy in Burgundy, where male family members traditionally worked as log drivers. They were members of the Compagnons de Rivière (French for “Companions of the river”), a guild of transporters that moved firewood by inland waterways from the vast forests of the Morvan to Paris.
The origins of the Goyardine canvas: the log drivers of the Morvan forest
When Edmond Goyard created the Goyardine canvas in 1892, he was heavily influenced & inspired by his family’s history: the piled-up dot pattern hints at the log drives guided by his ancestors, while the Goyardine is derived from Poutangris, a natural coated cloth mixing linen and cotton that the Compagnons de Rivières used to cut Biaudes, their working garments. Altogether hard-wearing, flexible and waterproof, the Goyardine proved to be a true technical revolution at a time when other trunk-makers were still using plain linen cloth.
A unique and secret crafting process
As is the case for all treasured family secrets, the exact manufacturing process of the Goyardine canvas remains strictly confidential, but the original methods are still in use today. They require a ground-colour application on the bare linen & cotton canvas, followed by three successive layers of etched colours through screen printing process; this combination creates the trademark embossed pattern and confers on the Goyardine the unique capacity to age gracefully and to acquire a patina as time goes by. The production of the Goyardine stopped after WWII, and was only resumed when Jean-Michel Signoles took over in 1998.
Upon his arrival at the helm of the Maison, Jean-Michel Signoles decided to introduce eleven new colours in addition to the historic black shade: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Sky-Blue, Navy Blue, Burgundy, Grey and White are now available for all pieces, Silver and Gold being also available for hard-sided luggage only. In addition to these permanent colours, temporary limited-edition hues are regularly introduced, such as Pink, which has quickly become a veritable cult colour among Goyard connoisseurs.