Caran d’Ache was founded in Geneva in 1924 and remains Switzerland s only manufacturer of pencils, fine arts products and writing instruments. They are known throughout the world of artists, architects, engineers, designers and illustrators for manufacturing the most consistently smooth graphite drawing pencils and other graphite artist products.
Caran d’Ache has drawn on its expertise and explored the deepest graphite mines to search out the infinite colour nuances of carbon. The result is the Graphite Line, an original concept dedicated to graphite that allows artists to compose their graphite range and explore all the shades of black.
The Caran d’Ache Graphite Line products are made with only the purest grades of graphite. This graphite is 99% pure and mined in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Germany. The graphite from these countries is naturally formed into varying shapes and sizes producing a tight bond resulting in a strong core that doesn’t break when you sharpen it or when you apply pressure while drawing. Many manufacturers use graphite from Central America, which is typically only 80% pure.
The clay used to produce the Caran d’Ache Graphite Line is called Montmorillonite Clay. Because of its greasy lubricating quality, it enables the graphite to glide across the paper.
The Caran d’Ache chemists analyze the correct quantities of the graphite to be added for the specific grade of hardness being produced. For each product range, GRAFWOOD, TECHNOGRAPH, TECHNALO, GRAFCUBE and GRAFSTONE, at least two different types of graphite are added, to make the cores more resistant to breakage. The graphite and clay mixture is mixed for several hours and ground a minimum of six times on rolling mills and then dried in the next stage of production. This is the reason why Caran d’Ache graphite products are much smoother and more homogeneous than competitors. The graphite and clay paste is then extruded into cores and baked at 100˚Celsius, cooled and then fired at 1000˚C to dry the moisture and produce a finished product.