French knives manufacturing
Unique for its visual originality, Damascus steel is nowadays a must for high-end knives. It can also be found in jewellery. Two processes are used to make it: conventional forging or powder metallurgy. This production of metal alloys made by sintering combines RWL34 and PMC27 steels. Its typical mat look and famous marbled patterns in the form of arabesques makes it stand out from all others. The association with Morta further reveals how extraordinary it is.
Besides the pleasure of a steel looking like a work of art, the Damascus knife blade is infallibly strong. The distribution of the steel’s imperfections and the presence of carbon render the Damascus blade all the more solid (60 HRC Rockwell hardness). It has unrivalled sharpness, which explains the keen interest of master chefs and other lovers of artisanal knives. As it is stainless, Damascus is ideal for kitchen, pocket or table knives. Morta Knives presents it in folding, mini or XL models.
Nothing could be easier. A whetstone or sharpening steel will perfectly sharpen the Damascus blade edge for optimal sharpness, respecting the quality of the stainless steel. To clean it, use a small amount of soapy water and dry with a kitchen towel or dry cloth. Conversely, the Morta handle prefers to avoid contact with water. After 5,000 years buried in the Brière peat, it is understandable that this precious wood longs for a life of labour far from any humidity.
The stone is on sale on this website. You will find it with the other accessories for your knife.
The stories diverge when it comes to the origin of the name Damascus. However, contrary to popular belief, Damascus steel made by superposing layers comes from Iran, not Syria. The name Damascus is thought to come from its marbled arabesques appearance, similar to the cloths of the eponymous city. The Moors’ swords during the crusades scared and fascinated our soldiers, who attributed a mysterious power to them. Damascus became legend. Will its renown compete with the image of Morta? Obviously not, on the contrary these two materials elevate each other mutually.
Damascus originally had two types of appearance. The first originating in India, called Wootz, came from the crystallization of carbon-rich metal. Extracted from crude iron ore, it was formed with the pot furnace method. Many daggers and swords were created from Wootz steel bars.
As for the wrought Damascus alloy, it was formed from various layers of welded steel. The blacksmith used to personally draw the patterns using the open-die forging technique. The naked eye could not differentiate the two processes.
The end of the 18th century sounded the death knell of Damascus steel production. Opinions diverge on the reasons for this. Some talk of depletion of the ore, closure of trade routes, others argue the loss of ancestral know-how. At that stage, Europeans still did not know how to reproduce such patterns.
But advances in metallurgy brought it back to life, when alchemy gave way to science and new steel-working methods emerged. In 1821, Jean Robert Bréant, securities inspector at the Paris Mint, was the first to restore Wootz bars using the wrought alloy practice and to discover the carbon content of metals. This was followed by techniques for hot welding and hammering several layers of steel. From then on we referred to welded Damascus and wrought alloy Damascus.
However, it took until the 20th century to really master our understanding of the processes.
Backed by its rich history and exceptional qualities, Damascus steel quite naturally found pride of place in the art of cutlery, especially artisanal cutlery. Atelier JHP offers a Damascus blade in RWL34 – PMC37 – 59 HRC hardness on 3 categories of handcrafted knives (folding knives, fixed knives and table knives). Made in France, please!
Don’t be fooled by the work “Mini’! This penknife keeps the same promises as its big brothers. This little knife gets around, in your pocket or in a drawer. Make it your daily companion in the kitchen or outdoors. Its cutting-edge efficacy is breathtaking. Your new best friend only weighs 100 grams.
Folding yes, but Damascus! From a multifunctional line, it officiates like a pro: at the chef’s table, in the fisherman’s hand or in the hunter’s pocket. What about foragers? In the basket of mushrooms, of course! Its stainless steel blade does not fear the morning frost. Offer it as a gift in all circumstances. Will it be your protégé’s first knife? Seek advice from your best artisan cutler.
The eldest in the collection of folding knives pays tribute to the large old folding knives for hunting from Thiers. It delights nostalgic fans of lovely materials. The combination of a blade using an ancestral process with 5,000-year old wood can only elevate the traditional art.
Savour the combination of the effectiveness of the Damascus blade and the compact fixed knife. Its size means you can take it anywhere. On a picnic, for DIY jobs or an outing in the forest, you choose! Available with or without a leather case for handling in complete safety. Ideal for settling disagreements during meals with friends.
Fixed model for working in the kitchen, its 12.5 cm blade cuts anything on the chopping board to the quick. Its generous wooden handle treated with vegetable oil (like all Morta knives) gradually acquires a patina from your palm with time and use.
This magnificent model finds its place in the most star-studded kitchens. It cuts as quickly as the art of cooking allows. The quality of the stainless steel blade is only matched by the comfort of its Morta handle for a chef’s ergonomics! The best blades adorn the best knives.
Make your place settings unique and honour your guests with this boxed set of table knives from the “Prestige” line. There are six blades lined up to meet your expectations, presented in an artisanal wooden presentation case. The Morta handle highlights the ancestral beauty of this mysterious steel for a total harmony of materials. Do you want even more? Opt for the luxury boxed set.
Morta knives dress in their best finery for the pleasure of owners who love noble materials: mammoth ivory inlays or blue border in vulcanized fibre. With Morta, these fancy touches combine millennia-old elements. These options are available on all folding models and on compact and XL fixed knives.
How do you make a Morta knife unique? Offer a fully customized gift. Besides the inlay options, you can also have the folding knives engraved with a choice of 4 different typefaces, for a perfect, irreplaceable finish.
Looking to add even more style? Add the leather case for that extra chic and optimum safety. Handmade in our workshop, it protects the blade and your hand.
Damascus steel is made from powder metallurgy. It follows a very controlled flow sheet composed of five stages: melting point, atomization, filling a capsule, welding and hot isostatic compression. We talk of sintering, a process in which the powder is heated without making it melt (hence the term “melting point”).
This process with an extremely even and fine grain gives the steel:
Besides the hands of master chefs or amateur cooks, the original knife in Damascus steel attracts many fans of fine blades. It can be found in all the great names of traditional cutlery, on Laguiole knives or kitchen knives like the katana from Japan or France (Aveyronnais). Damascus steel has become a genuine living heritage. It is also to be found in armour or hunting knives.
See also the as-forged knives from Morta Knives, French cutlery.