Cholet

Cholet, town of 56,000 inhabitants in the Maine et Loire department, once had a thriving textile industry, and was famed throughout the world for its handkerchiefs! White with blue, red or violet squares, they were known as “cholets” after the town, and were exported to America and the West Indies. They were first made in the town in 1740, and remained the speciality “choletais” until the 20th century.

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The town’s emblem is also a handkerchief, which comes from a song called “the red handkerchief of Cholet” sung by a French variety star of the early 20th century - Theodore Botrel. For some reason the sung caught on and it’s Botrel’s red hanky rather than the millions of white ones made in Cholet that can now be seen all over the town.




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