Forbes, una delle riviste statunitensi più conosciute al mondo, esplora in questo articolo la nostra storia e il doppio filo che ci lega da sempre con il nostro amato Cashmere.
Qui di seguito vi riportatiamo l'articolo completo :
Artisans Of Business: Creating Exquisite Italian Cashmere
One of the best places to seek artisans of business is the region of Florence, Italy—the birthplace of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Filippo Brunelleschi. The area is still brimming with the same artistic, passionate and creative spirit of the past. One local business that exudes these characteristics is Il Borgo Cashmere in Borgo San Lorenzo in the region of Mugello.
Il Borgo is a family-owned business and for three generations it’s been dedicated to producing the finest quality cashmere products. “Our collections combine the natural beauty of cashmere with the preciousness of fine Italian craftsmanship based on a treasured heritage and handcrafted techniques, such as tricot, crochet, tatting, macramé, sewing and trimming, that are not replicable with machines and that give our products the beauty and uniqueness you can see and feel,” says Franco Fredducci, owner of Il Borgo.
Fredducci has mastered how to mix traditional techniques with creative and modern designs. This strategy has served the business well. The company has partnered with major fashion houses to produce embroideries, trimmings and cashmere products. This innovative spirit is also one of the reasons that Il Borgo has been participating in the "Maison d'Exception" event in Paris since 2011. The event recognizes artisanal companies with superior technique and unique products and provides a platform to connect these artisans with fashion brands and designers. I was fortunate to discover Il Borgo while I was in Tuscany, and Fredducci shared his thoughts on craftsmanship, the artistic spirit and the importance of community.
Sourcing high quality materials
One of the hallmarks of producing high-quality artisanal products is sourcing the best materials. Cashmere is one of the most rare and warmest natural fibers in the world. Fredducci explains that cashmere is an opaque, corrugated fiber with a diameter between 14 and 18 microns, which is much finer than Merino wool, which is about 24 microns in diameter. It’s also a better insulator than wool, so it’s warmer and lighter.
Cashmere is made from hair from the undercoat of Hyrcus goats, which are primarily found in the Gobi dessert in northern China and the southern part of Mongolia. The hair is harvested once per year and the thickness and length of the fiber will affect the quality of the cashmere produced. Once the hair is harvested, the next step in the process is called “scouring.” It requires attention, patience and competence, says Fredducci, adding that during this phase “the coarser outer coating of hair is taken away and removed from the underdown.”
If you’re wondering how to tell if you are buying a cashmere product that is worth the high price tag, Fredducci offers some recommendations. First look for a tag that says the product is 100% cashmere. Second, superior cashmere products are made out of two-twisted plies of yarn, so the product will hold its shape better and last longer. Lastly, if you lightly rub the surface together, the fibers should not roll up or shed, often referred to as “pilling,” because in high-quality cashmere the yarn fibers are very long and don’t split.
True artisans are going to work with the finest materials available so they can produce the most outstanding products and uphold the standard of quality that they have spent years or generations establishing. That is why Il Borgo uses cashmere yarn from the best Italian and Scottish mills to knit its designs.