In­ven­tive In­ter­lace

An ex­clu­sive look at Ermenegildo Zegna’s lat­est in­no­va­tive wo­ven nappa leather fab­ric: Pelle Tes­suta. By Rachel Ang

Men's Folio (Singapore) - - Trending -

An­other mile­stone has been made in the his­tory of fash­ion, with the de­but of a new and mod­ern fab­ric made of wo­ven leather. The brain­child of Ital­ian lux­ury house Ermenegildo Zegna, this in­no­va­tive ma­te­rial, chris­tened the Pelle Tes­suta, uses thread- like strips of nappa leather to cre­ate a smooth and sup­ple fab­ric that sub­sti­tutes that of wo­ven yarns. This cre­ation draws on the brand’s her­itage of rare and su­pe­rior fab­rics, par­tic­u­larly with weav­ing, re­sult­ing in a stun­ning cre­ation that con­tin­ues in Zegna’s tra­di­tion of pro­duc­ing top- grade tex­tiles.

This sea­son, Ermenegildo Zegna’s leather col­lec­tion con­sists of a whole range of ac­ces­sories, all con­structed with the light­weight full- grain nappa leather. Wo­ven with the Zegna orig­i­nal method, this unique and pli­able ma­te­rial has been used to make con­tem­po­rary sneak­ers, a large holdall bag, a busi­ness brief­case, a clas­sic belt, a card­holder, wal­lets, and of course, the iconic loafers.

Zegna’s her­itage in weav­ing be­gan when its en­tre­pre­neur­ial founder was merely 18, when he founded the Lan­i­fi­cio Zegna wool mill in Trivero, in the Alpine foothills near Biella. Since then, his weav­ing tech­nique has formed an es­sen­tial part of the brand’s iden­tity. How­ever, for the leather col­lec­tion this year, par­tic­u­larly the loafers, most of the magic hap­pens in the Zegna work­shop in Parma, North­ern Italy. This pro­duc­tion plant is ded­i­cated to pro­duc­ing leather ac­ces­sories of supreme qual­ity. Fea­tur­ing state- of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties, this leather mill has be­come the heart of the brand’s re­search, devel­op­ment, and pro­duc­tion in leather goods.

In this mill, sev­eral masters are em­ployed to cre­ate the Pelle Tes­suta. The five-step process be­gins with five dif­fer­ent crafts­men work­ing in a con­tin­u­ous cy­cle to make sheet-thin strips of nappa leather, each mea­sur­ing only less than 2.2mm wide. These strands are then placed on a spe­cial loom in a warp po­si­tion, a process that takes an en­tire work­ing day.

Once they’ve been fit­ted on, they are then in­ter­laced with hor­i­zon­tal weft strips in a method that repli­cates the tra­di­tional method of weav­ing cloth to ob­tain a real fab­ric made from leather. The fol­low­ing step is qual­ity con­trol. An ar­ti­san care­fully checks the per­fec­tion of the wo­ven Pelle Tes­suta ma­te­rial to make sure that all the strands are straight and aligned. Once this has been ac­com­plished, the fab­ric is then ready to be cut for sewing.

This en­tire process in­volves many leather crafts­men spe­cialised in dif­fer­ent phases, which rep­re­sents the essence of Pelle Tes­suta. Men’s Fo­lio takes an ex­clu­sive be­hind-the-scenes peek to find out what ex­actly goes into mak­ing the Pelle Tes­suta loafers for the Spring/sum­mer 2016 leather ac­ces­sories col­lec­tion.

1) The leather threads for the warp wound up on the bob­bin are ori­ented towards the loom. 2) The threads en­ter the loom in par­al­lel for the weav­ing. 4) The wo­ven leather from the loom is wound on the beam. 3) The comb clamps down the wo­ven threads. 5) The up­per part of the shoe on the back is closed.

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