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An idea that was born during chess games during my travels, simply to be able to share my passion with other people.

début de partie

Birth of the idea

It all started on board a plane to Tunis, a country where I regularly worked as an embroidery consultant for major French brands.

It was while discovering in an on-board magazine, an Italian fashion designer Loro Piana who had fun making a backgammon game in hessian. I thought the idea of the fabric game was awesome! But no chessboard in its catalog, and in any case the prices were vertiginous at more than 500 euros the backgammon which was all the more not magnetic.

échiquier magnétique modèle Tokyo

The making

And it started from there! Always passionate about chess and a great traveler, I often took my chess board in my luggage, because wherever I could go in the world, I always found a player for a game without even having to speak the same language, failures simple gestures and a smile are enough. With the idea of the Italian designer, I started to "tinker" with my fabric chessboard. Good for a start it was not very well done, but it was very practical. And then, people around me started asking me - a real family success. Even the famous Voile Rouge beach in Ramatuelle had me made on mattress canvas for its good customers.

machine à coudre pour fabrication échiquier


At that time the pieces were in olive tree from Tunisia, pretty but not regular. Admittedly the game was easy to transport, but you always needed a flat place to play, impossible to play a game directly on the sand.

I did a lot of research to find out if there was a technique to adapt and make my game magnetic. Nothing existed, so I did my own experimental research, at the same time I followed a tailoring training in addition to my professional activity. After two years, I had managed to obtain an exclusive technical compound of magnetization adaptable to fabric or leather. In February 2018 an international patent application was filed. On January 07, 2020 after two years of study, the invention patent was recognized and registered with the National Office.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

vue de l'échiquier posé sur le sable

Know how

During this whole period I continued my apprenticeship in sewing and made hundreds of prototypes to acquire a master's degree in sewing.

Not satisfied with my pieces, I went to visit wooden toy manufacturers in the Jura. This is how I found the ROZ family, one of the last French spinners today. I was immediately seduced by the work on boxwood chess pieces, but also by the people. Brigitte and Michel ROZ who perpetuate the history and tradition of French wooden games.

I wanted to make a beautiful travel board 100% made in France, while remaining at a reasonable price. My fabric supplier in Marseille found me beautiful denim fabric to make my chessboards.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

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I use the best permanent magnets for my parts (neodymium N35), from the only local supplier. From my workshop in Carqueiranne, I print and personalize my chess mats by means of serigraphic transfer, I cut the fabrics and entirely shape the game. Several hours are needed to make a chess board, they are made one by one, no series. Despite long manufacturing work, I wanted to stay with a reasonable price. This is why the game is sold directly from the workshop.

I take great care in my work with respect for my passion: the game of chess!

Jean-Luc Gamba

échiquier modèle New-York roulé
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