Fait main what does it legally mean?

At the risk of creating a dispute and sort of on the back of another crafter's recent experience I have been turning over in my mind the question of Fait main and what does it legally mean in France?

When I began as an Artisan here in France, a good while ago, I was asked to re word all my sign-age on a particular expo as I had chosen to work as "Claire Owen - Fait Main". There had been a complaint from someone that I couldn't put Fait Main as I used a sewing machine. There doesn't seem to be an official description of what Fait Main really means from an artistic point of view.

I suppose I should ask the Chambre des Métiers for a full definition. It's just that more and more I see other artisans, artists and AE's with notices up at expos saying Fait Main or 100% Fait Main.

The dictionary definition says;

Fait Main = Fabriqué manuellement ou artisanalement ; qui n'est pas issu de l'industrie.

Etsy seem to be having a go at allowing anyone who puts a hand on something to be defined as handmade but I don't think it is wise to allow Etsy to make the definitive rules for the legal practicalities of labelling.

There is apparently a definition of Fait main as far as shoes making goes........ who knew but I can't find any hard and fast rules for sewing, knitting, jewellery etc.


What does everyone else think / know?

I contacted the person I know at my local Chambre des Metiers and she said that she could find no legal definition for artisans d'art but there was a lot of new legislation with the Fait Maison for restaurants. It's tricky area . I am perfectly happy to be Fabrication Artisanale for my children's clothes that definition doesn't bother me at all and eel it describes my process just fine, however I am eternally curious . I love your jewellery Willy it's very special, I have been looking intermittently for some mother of pearl cufflinks I don't suppose you have something in the 40 /50 € price range?

I cannot tell you the legal definition, but know that you cannot change how other people use/ misuse the wording.

Use whatever term you think is most appropriate for you. You can distance yourself from the crowd (who just slap things together and call it art). Put as much creativity into your display as in creating your work. People will take notice the difference.


My thoughts exactly, especially when it's 3 bit's of pre-purchased nonsense put together as a necklace!! Oh well.

Yes, I've noticed it too…. no doubt they have plucked the cotton, spun it, washed it, dyed it and so on:-)

I have used fabrication Artiasnale for years now , but I am noticing an increase in people labelling their stuff as Fait Main or a lot of 100% fait main which is curious.

There doesn't seem to be a definition. My sister works in the same field and the way round it is "pièces uniques".