Milan – Today I visited one of the best textile and vegan leather makers in Italy. This was a great pleasure for me as I have been to many tanneries (tanneries develop the different kinds of leather and animal skins for products) but never to a textile/synthetic factory. After selecting materials to send to the handbag maker for WYWV, I had the opportunity to tour the factory.
They impressively create everything vertically (they do all themselves.) I had no idea that they spin their own yarns and threads that later they weave into fabrics and vegan leather backings. The weaving machines, these giant mechanical looms, working at a rapid pace, were my favorite and were not unlike yarn strung organs. When they cover the backing with the vegan leather coating, it is flat, smooth. From there it can be treated to become an infinite number of things, from being rolled through an emboss to create a grain leather or crocco embossed effect to being tumbled in a professional distressing machine to give it a softened or weathered effect. Also impressive are the number of different machines there to distress and soften materials in different ways. One of my favorites blew air into fabrics so they would billow up and fall slowly, like one was making the bed, before having the air blow the fabric up to the enclosed glass ceiling once more, once more. I suppose if Edward Scissorhand’s maker was of a textile mind, his factory might have had some of the same machines, organs playing threads while fabrics billow into their softened beings.