A portrait of Xavier Legris de Maistre, Canadian and creator of made-to-measure sheaths for Opinel knives.

Xavier Legris de Maistre

Can you introduce yourself in a few words? 


I am Xavier LEGRIS de Maistre, born in Montreal, Canada to a mother from Savoie and a Canadian father.

As a child, I used to spend my summer holidays in the Savoie region, and I learned to sew with my cousins when I was nine. 

I went to China to continue my higher education at the age of 21, and I learnt Mandarin in Beijing. I've had strong links with China since 1996, and in 2010 this led me to set up a production team made up of highly skilled craftspeople. 

Since 2021, I've been based in Maurienne, where I've taken over an industrial sewing workshop that we've named SAVOIE COUTURE INDUSTRIELLE

What does your job entail? 

Sewing! I love sewing machines.

Using flexible materials, we design transport and storage items for a variety of markets. 

How long have you been working with Opinel? 

Since 2011. 

How did the collaboration begin, and which products were involved? 

Opinel wanted made-to-measure cotton sheaths for its BtoB business, and we met their strict specifications. 

Can you tell us more about the history of your company? 

SAVOIE COUTURE INDUSTRIELLE has its roots in Savoie's own expertise in heavy, solid sewing. 

We work in a historic industrial building in the Maurienne valley, which has had a sewing tradition since the 1950s. 

What prompted you to refocus your business in France? And more specifically in Savoie?

When I was a teenager, we were sold the idea of globalisation and I lived it to the full. 

My family is originally from Savoie, and nowadays, I think the real essence is here, with regional roots. 

Do you think this will be a real advantage for your business in the future? 

Yes! It's very motivating to lead such a development. 

And we're proud to be doing this in Savoie. 


Can you tell us about the different stages involved in creating the sheaths? 

It involves selecting and checking materials, cutting, shaping, sewing, finishing, checking and finally packing. 

What do you think of the new collection of Made in France Opinel sheaths? 

Responsible, practical and inspiring

Which is your favourite Opinel knife? 

The one I lost when I was a child...

Can you describe Opinel in 3 words? 

Tradition, Useful, Everyday.