Bergere de France is a family owned knitting yarn company based in the Lorraine region of France. They are a design driven brand who have been selling yarn in the UK for the last seven years.
The majority of their yarns are blends, but their range spans from 100% acrylic to 95% cashmere. Fleeces for their yarn are sourced from Uruguay and processed from start to finish in their factory in France.
Colin explained that their marketing policy is to work with a smaller number of specialist stores in the UK who stock a greater range of their products. I think this is an interesting idea. All too often shops only stock the basic/best selling yarns from a range and the more unusual yarns can only be purchased online where you can’t squish them and the colours on screen are rarely accurate.
Bergere also want to reach out and connect with their customers through talks and workshops, rather than just sending yarn out to stores to sell. I confess, having knitted for 40 years, I was at a loss to say what I’d personally like covered in a manufacturer’s workshop. If I want to learn a new stitch pattern or technique, I’ll check a book or YouTube. If I want to make something I’ve never made before I’ll buy a pattern. If I’m struggling with something I’d want 1-2-1 with the piece I’m working on, not a workshop. What would draw me to a workshop would be the person taking the workshop, their style or passions, their experience in a certain area or with a certain type of yarn. What would you want from a knitting workshop, beyond getting together with other knitters?
Each of us was given a catalogue with pictures of the entire 2015/2016 range and yarn samples. If you register an online account you can get one of these free. I think this is a great idea, but I’d still want to touch a whole ball of yarn before I bought it.
There are no patterns in the catalogue, but we were also give a separate book – that retails for £12 – with all the catalogue’s patterns in it. Bergere de France also produce some themed magazines and individual patterns can also be found in some knitting and crochet magazines.
While the magazine was unquestionably good value for money, and they do have some lovely designs, personally I’d rather have individual patterns. Partly because I like making up my own designs – partly because there’s so much out there to chose from I’m unlikely to knit more than one from the same book – partly because it wastes far less paper. Also I don’t want to have to carry round a book when I could just carry round a sheet of paper. How do you feel about this? Do you like a good value book or individual patterns?
One hugely annoying thing that Bergere have got covered, is that all the accessories, such as buttons, that you see on their patterns can be bought from them. How often do you see a complimentary finishing touch making huge difference, but not know where it came from?
Bergere also sell kits and knitting and sewing accessories. However what I was drawn to were these…
I’ve not see anything like them elsewhere. They aren’t cheap at £10.20, but nice to have hand knitted slippers and they’ll make nice presents. My old slippers have absolutely had it, so I’m in immediate need of a new pair. I look forward to showing you when I’ve knitted them.
Hope you’re having creative week.