Regarded as one of the most important bow makers in the history of bow making, French archetier François Nicolas Voirin (1833–1885) began an apprenticeship at the age of twelve with Jean Simon in Mirecourt, then moved to Paris in 1855 to join the famous workshop of his cousin, Jean Baptiste Vuillaume. Voirin worked alongside Pierre Simon (1808–1881), another gifted bow maker from Mirecourt who had studied with Dominique Peccatte, copying Simon's head styles and Vuillaume's frog designs, including the experimental "Alard" style frog and "picture" bows.
In 1870, Voirin established his own workshop in Paris, where he developed his personal bow models. Although known as "the modern Tourte" during his lifetime, Voirin's bows differed significantly from those of François Tourte, departing from "hatchet head" designs of Tourte, Peccatte, and Simon, experimenting instead with lighter models. Voirin's bows built with narrower heads, cambers oriented nearer to the tip, and slimmer sticks, were highly admired for their elegance and agile playability, and influenced the work of Voirin's students, including Charles Peccatte, Joseph Alfred Lamy (Lamy père), Louis and Claude Thomassin, and Charles Nicolas Bazin II. Voirin's brother, Joseph Voirin (1837–1895), was also a respected bow maker who joined his business in 1875.
F. N. Voirin's bows are extremely highly regarded and sought after by top string players.