Le Chameau - not your average welly
Why are Le Chameau so much better than other wellies? Surely all Wellington boots are the same? And are they really worth the extra ££?
There is a reason why the Le Chameau range is our top selling wellington boot, and it’s not just because of the royal connection (with the young royals seen wearing Le Chameau boots at various sporting events).
Le Chameau was set up in Normandy back in 1927. What’s great about Le Chameau is that their original workshops in Pont d’Ouilly, Normandy are still being used today. The undisputed heritage of Le Chameau only adds to the prestige of their boots.
Le Chameau was born in 1927 when Claude Chamot, an agricultural engineer married to a shoemaker’s daughter, was living in Cherbourg, which was (is?) a rainy, windy sea-lashed town which probably inspired Chamot’s decision to put come up with an alternative to the flimsy, leaky lace-up boots that plagued his countrymen.
Chamot looked to rubber. Lightweight and flexible, the hard-wearing substance was the only logical material to use considering the requirement for waterproofness. Though Chamot was not the first to manufacture a rubber boot, his focus on construction, flexibility and comfort, and his attention to the subtle differences required of each model, according to the needs and characteristics of the trade it served – whether it be fishing, oyster farming, sailing, agriculture or hunting – was ground-breaking.
In 1939, when Chamot’s small Cherbourg workshop couldn’t meet the growing demand, he moved production inland, to Pont d’Ouilly near Caen, where the atelier (notice the artistic reference here, not a factory!) remains today. Ten years later, Chamot opened a second branch in Casablanca, Morocco, still a French protectorate. The two ateliers prospered, and in homage to his surname and those beasts of legendary resilience, the camel, he changed the company name to Le Chameau.
Not only are Le Chameau wellies of the highest quality, they are handmade. They are crafted by a single maître bottier (Master Shoemaker) with traditional tools.
With Le Chameau being handmade, each set of boots is unique which adds to the character of the boots and makes them unique to each owner.
Each of the processes – there are about 150, from start to finish – and the 14 elements which go into the making of a single boot are undertaken by a specifically trained individual. The process includes mixing dyes and chemicals with raw rubber (Grade A rubber sourced from a farm in Vietnam) to create the desired strength and suppleness. This is done to a secret recipe unique to the company. The rubber is then rolled out and cut and moulded. The sole is constructed; the lining (leather, fabric, neoprene or fur) is sewn in and, finally, there’s the technique of vulcanisation (basically the boots are cooked!) that transforms the rubber into a durable end product. The final job is the application of the Le Chameau logo itself, by hand of course.
Le Chameau not only caters for a wide range of needs but here at Emmett and Stone, we think their wellies look the business when you are out and about.