La Manufacture Prelle owes its existence to the designer Pierre-Toussaint Déchazelle, born in 1752. It is only in the early part of the twentieth century that the name of one of our famous designer, Eugene Prelle, becomes known to us.
To establish a true identity and create their image, manufacturers names would be associate with the name of their designers; the tradition of joining names existed with silk companies until 1900. The manufacturer and designers names are placed side by side, and many examples of these associations abound in the genesis of manufacture PRELLE.
Thus Pierre-Toussaint Déchazelle a designer went into partnership with Guyot & Germain a manufacturer in 1770. Later the famous designer Jean-Francois Bony, who, during the First Empire, worked closely with the manufacturer Bissardon. These designers alone ensured the fame of the workshops and contributed greatly to the commercial influence of their company by imprinting a strong image and style to a company's name.
The genealogy of La Manufacture Prelle is a complex one; this succession of names: Déchazelle, Desfarges, Bony, Bissardon, Chuard, Corderier, Le Mire and Lamy are names that appear in the history of the mill. All these names are important in helping to understand the associations and legacy, though there is little written documentation remaining today.
Déchazelle, who retired in 1808, sold his business to the manufacturer Charles Corderier, who then aligned himself during the First Empire with Marie-Jacques Lemire. So begins the period of Corderier and Lemire..
Lemire, between 1829 and 1834, took the assets of Chuard mill's, which had acquired the archives of one of the most prestigious manufacturer of XVIIIth century: Marie-Olivier Desfarges.
Lemire legacy then continued under two names : Lemire & Co. and Lemire & Son.
In 1865, Lemire who encountered difficulties, sold his archives to Antoine Lamy and Auguste Giraud.
In 1880, Lamy et Giraud abandons la Robe, which refers to the production of fabrics for the apparel industry, to focus solely on furnishing fabrics.
In 1881, on the recommendation of Antoine Lamy's, all the small workshop's looms were consolidated into a "modern" factory on the plateau of the Croix-Rousse.
Balthazar Eugène Prelle,was born in Lyon in 1838, and served his apprenticeship in the drawing department of Lamy and Giraud. He attending evening classes for both drawing and painting while studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in the famous "Ecole des Fleurs".
Thanks to his talent and hard work, he soon became the head of the drawing department at Lamy and Giraud. His talent is crowned with medals at the Expositions Universelles of 1873, 1878 and 1889.
In 1894 Eugene's sons Aimé and Alexandre, who had mastered the trade of textile design in conjunction with their fine arts training founded an independent firm for drawing in silk district. The two brothers forged a great relationship with the Lamy & Giraud company providing them with most of the companies designs.
Following the death of Edward Lamy in 1917, Aimé Prelle agreed to take on the leadership of the company that then became Prelle and Co..
Thérèse Prelle, his daughter, trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Lyon and then in Paris under the direction of Michel Dubost in the Ducharne workshop. Therese Prelle was also a designer and created remarkable designs in Art Deco style.
In 1926, Therese Prelle married Charles Verzier, also from a renowned silk family of Lyon.
Charles Verzier's ancestor, François Verzier, born in 1726, came to Lyon to do his apprenticeship in the craft of silk and then established a dynasty in the Lyonnaise silk weavers.
In 1760 Francois Verzier was made Companion of the "community of merchants & master workers in cloth of gold, silver and silk" and five years later he became a master merchant manufacturer.
He had twelve children the eldest, Claude-Marie, succeeded his father as head of the company. Under the Restoration, Claude-Marie expanded the business to a very fashionable market for silk; the manufacture of umbrellas and parasols.
In 1833, his son Horace, who worked with him in the business, died prematurely at the age of 42 years. He added to the activities of the company's business by forming the mechanical parts of parasols and umbrellas in addition to the silks. His widow continued the business under the name Widow Verzier and Co., merchant umbrella, taffeta and cotton..
Born from Claude-Marie's second wife, Horace-Jean Louis; Horaces half brother regained the leadership of the silk factory during the Second Empire. His idea was to add to the traditional manufacturing a new creation, with a promising future: the woven portrait. This specialty called « Taille-Douce » (intaglio) distinguish the Verzier factory.
Horace died in 1866 and his son Claude Verzier succeeded him: four generations after the first Francois Verzier..
Claude's son Philippe took over the company when his father died and it was Philippe's son, Charles Verzier, who married Thérèse Prelle in 1926.
Charles Verzier then teamed with his father-in -law Eugene Prelle, and took over the management of the company. When Charles died in 1948, his two sons Philippe and François took over the business at the ages of 18 and 20 years old.
Today the son of Francois, Guillaume Verzier, continues the tradition.