The Proven?al cutlery line was originally launched using materials used for French butchery knives – high grade taper rolled stainless steel blades with rosewood riveted handles. But this combination proved insufficient to withstand the demands of modern domestic life.
Designer David Mellor swapped the wooden handles in 1975 for acetal resin, which was much more robust and, most importantly, dishwasher proof. The move to acetal also allowed the range to be extended to include colour – blue, black and green are currently offered.
Moving from rosewood to plastic speeded up production considerably, replacing a seven step process – which still ran the risk of the wooden handles splitting – to a one step process with virtually no production scrap. While the initial investment required to make the necessary injection tooling was high this efficiency gain and the enduring popularity of the Proven?al design has more than compensated.
The acetal handles are produced for David Mellor Design by Barnsley, UK-based contract moulder Moorland Plastics. Final manufacturing takes place at David Mellor Design’s award winning factory – The Round Building – which is located at Hathersage in Derbyshire in the UK and was designed by architect Michael Hopkins.