At 42 rue Bonaparte, the same street as Buly 1803, is another store that I try to visit when I’m in Paris – especially during the sales – Jules Pansu. This is where you can find beautiful tapestry cushions, purses, wall hangings and other textiles, all proudly made in France since 1878. I always get compliments on my red Jules Pansu purse and I’m looking forward to seeing my new tapestry cushion on my favorite chair when I get home – that is, if the cat will let me sit there.
The first Jules Pansu established a jacquard weaving facility in Halluin, in the Flanders region of France, with a sales office in Paris. Four generations later, the Pansu family is still balancing innovative designs with traditional weaving techniques. They have been awarded the prestigious designation Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (Best Craftsmen in France) not once, but twice. Not only can you find their products in their own boutique, but also in many museum and château gift shops for whom they make exclusive designs. In 2012, they were named an Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant for excellence in craftsmanship.
The name of the shop does, however, always make me smile. Pansu (pahn-sue) means “paunchy.” I always imagine a predecessor of Jules who had a rather big belly and the moniker stuck. I’m glad none of my ancestors caused me to suffer the same fate!