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Arches®, a Living Heritage Company

Arches®,
a Living Heritage Company

Arches paper mill has been granted the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (EPV (Living Heritage Company) distinction in recognition of its ancestral know-how in the field of high-quality paper-making.

What is the EPV distinction?

EPV is an official French seal of approval that was introduced in May 2006 and is awarded by the Ministry for the Economy and Finance. It is awarded for five years and is held by all the prestigious manufacturers who strive to uphold the excellence of their industrial or artisan know-how and the high quality of their products.

EPV companies keep their high-added value production activities in France. Most of them operate in international markets, and thus export an image of the iconic excellence and know-how of France. As valuable ambassadors of quality “made in France”, they contribute day after day to France’s economic and cultural identity. They know how to combine tradition with innovation, know-how with creativity, hard work with passion, to ensure the sustainability of our heritage.

ARCHES®, an exceptional heritage

When Christopher Columbus set out for America in 1492, master paper makers were already making paper by hand in the Arches paper mill located in the Vosges region of France. As custodians of age-old know-how, the master papermakers have remained faithful to the original spirit of the paper mill, even as the production processes have gradually become industrialised.

The paper mill in Arches is still going strong, and is the only one in France to manufacture all of its art and printing papers using cylinder moulds.
The traditional method, in use at ARCHES® since 1895, combined with a natural raw material – cotton – make it possible to produce very high quality papers that have nothing to envy the finest handmade papers.
Cylinder mould manufacturing is the best process to make paper that is stable, watermarked, with a natural grain and deckle edges.

ARCHES® is also very well known for its gelatin-sized “to the core” watercolour paper.
That unique manufacturing process is not applied anywhere else in the world and gives the paper inimitable qualities. The details of the process are a closely guarded secret, passed on by word of mouth within the company.

ARCHES®, excellence in paper

For over five centuries, famous artists and writers have been selecting papers from ARCHES® to show their work off to its best and lasting advantage. The brand enjoys an international reputation.

The many controls that are carried out throughout the manufacturing process ensure the undisputed quality to which ARCHES® owes its reputation. The watermark attests that the paper is genuine and of high quality. It is the sign of an expert’s trade requiring precision, attention to detail and finesse.

At the end of the manufacturing cycle, cutting and the tactile and visual inspection of each sheet is left to a team of seasoned workers. Their know-how is perfected only after years of in-house training and experience.

ARCHES®, an innovative company that is responsive to its customers

The papermakers at ARCHES® are able to adapt to all kinds of very specific requirements to create tailored papers (composition, size, grammage, special colours, etc.) with customised watermarks.

In the 1950s, they were the first to manufacture ARCHES® Aquarelle blocks at the company’s paper mill in the Vosges. And today they continue to perpetuate the innovative spirit that is intrinsic to the brand, developing new “Made in France” products to continually extend the range.

For over five centuries, ARCHES® has perpetuated the excellence of its products and successfully combined tradition with modernity.