Founded in 1989 by a group of women led by Maria Gontier, the Lou Dzeut cooperative has always had a double purpose: to keep the local hemp weaving tradition alive and to create job opportunities for women living in the area. Nowadays, six women work at the atelier: two weavers, one seamstress and two embroiderers, plus the current president and coordinator, Mariagiovanna Casagrande. The name Lou Dzeut means, in local patois, both “hive” and “bud.” It was chosen to signify hard work, collaboration and a promise for the future.
Hemp grows well in Alpine areas. It has been a favoured fibre since ancient times, widely used for its strength and durability. Champorcher makes no exception: in the village, entire families used to spend the long and freezing winters weaving in their homes and barns, using larch wood looms provided by local carpenters. These same wooden looms are used today at Lou Dzeut to produce elegant, high-quality items like towels, aprons, tablecloths, pillows, curtains and more, all enriched with lacy or embroidered details. Tailor made shirts and waistcoats can be made on demand, too. All the items are on sale at the atelier’s shop.