The making of an H2O umbrella

Making a unique object, the handmade umbrella
Made in Normandie

A rare and precious know-how

As in haute couture, the realization of quality umbrella models and their production consist of a series of highly technical operations and require the mastery of unique machines of their kind. Creating an original umbrella is based on a succession of precise gestures that range from cutting the fabric to the assembly and installation of the various components.



The main actions leading to the manufacture of a single umbrella are as follows:


Model design

Choice of shape, elements, materials, mechanisms, handles, colors, patterns and fabrics outline the first stage of creation. This phase is decisive and will allow us to obtain authentic umbrellas.


Fabric cut

Eight fabric tips are needed to make a classic umbrella. A point is a triangular piece to assemble to shape the umbrella. But many of our models have more than 8 pieces. The number of pieces of fabric varies and can reach 40 pieces, expertly assembled by our seamstresses. Many models alternate tips of different fabrics to create all kinds of style effects. And will allow you to acquire a unique umbrella.


Assembling the tips

The carefully cut points are then assembled together on a serger-type sewing machine to form the umbrella.


Laying the bias

The bias is the band that borders the fabric on the peripheral part of your umbrella. It not only gives the fabric greater strength but also prevents fraying. This operation also makes it possible to obtain a better finish and also to vary the style by choosing an identical color, in tone-on-tone camaieu for a classic effect or, on the contrary, in contrast for a more sustained result.


Placement of aiguillettes

The aiguillettes of the umbrellas constitute an essential and structuring point of the latter, in spite of their small size: they keep the canvas in pressure, give shape and rigidity to your future companion. Indeed, it is these small pieces of metal placed one by one at the end of each piece of fabric that allow the canvas to be fixed on the ribs (metal frames).


Assembly of the fabric on the mechanism

The ribs, articulated around the mast, represent the framework of the umbrella and are chaperoned by the aiguillettes. It is thanks to a stopping machine that the canvas combines with the whale. In this step, the operator will assemble the hem of the whalebone overlock. The umbrella gains, so its strength and shape.


Final small steps and umbrella check

Once the arrêtures are made, the aiguillettes are placed on the ribs, there are then the few finishing details, the installation of pressures on the leg, the installation of the tip, the adjustment and the installation of the handle. Then comes the penultimate step of shaping the umbrella: it is a question of ensuring that there are no manufacturing defects, that the mechanism works perfectly, that the tentions of the fabric are perfect between opening and closing and that all the constituent parts of the umbrella are securely assembled. This really is the key step in umbrella quality control.



The completed umbrella is finally steam ironed to ensure its perfect finish. This operation is done at the end of the day so that the umbrellas dry during the night. It will then be folded the next morning. Folding is an important step because it allows you to form the fold of your future partner. Expert hands, skillful fingers and patience are the keys to the success of this last step.



H2O Parapluies uses high quality precision machinery and has recently acquired specific models to continually improve the quality of its production.


You want to know more?

Why not consider coming and discovering for yourself the fifteen steps involved in producing a quality umbrella made in France? H2O Parapluies invites you to visit its umbrella-making workshop-boutique in Crépon.