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From Mantero: a day in the Como area to discover the most exclusive fabrics

One day since I keep it, the textile company based near Como, which has always collaborated with the largest luxury brands, to discover first-hand what the evolutions of this sector are. A tour guided by Franco and Lucia Mantero, to breathe in all the creativity and excellence of this reality which, for over a century, has best represented Italian know-how in the world.

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Welcome to the archive of wonders

To start, we took a tour of their archives top secret open by appointment to designers from the biggest fashion houses. A special place where historical patterns and graphic motifs are collected with great care and archived by theme. A 2,500 square meter library full of fascinating folders that we had the honor of leafing through (but not photographing): a roundup of books where you can find any type of inspiration. Here, among tens of millions of designs, 77 thousand are those of scarves alone, the style offices arrive to do their research and, together with the company’s employees I keep it dedicated to product development, they collect and work on ideas for the new seasons.

«The archive is a catalyst for the future – President Franco Mantero tells us – in which lies our identity, ready to shape new opportunities and guide our company towards increasingly innovative and prosperous horizons. With the clear vision of the archive as a beating heart and source of inspiration for new creativity, the goal is to expand our resources with new acquisitions, as we have done in recent years with Avantgard and the Kimono collection and more recently , with Lasabui.”

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We took a look at the wardrobe of that decade and took inspiration from photos of the time to draw up the Top 5 garments and accessories that have passed (with flying colors) the test of time. We bet that many of us still wear them today…

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And it is the room dedicated to Kimonos that is the second stop on our tour from Mantero to discover the most precious fabrics. A truly incredible collection, which belonged to Nancy Martin Stetson: a true treasure of Japanese textile art. 763 kimonos, under-kimonos, jackets and 70 Obi from different historical periods, ranging from 1878 to 1945. A collection capable of describing printing techniques, processes, dyeing and embroidery of a distant country and which bear witness to the various phases of development of the past.

The incredible and precious collection of ancient and modern Kimonos that belonged to Nancy Martin Stetson and recently acquired by...

The incredible and precious collection of ancient and modern Kimonos that belonged to Nancy Martin Stetson and recently acquired by Mantero for their archive.

Not only fashion and beauty but also the discovery and protection of fascinating and traditional techniques that come from the past, such as that of Shibori, eastern ancestor of tie dye, with which the craftsmen, by knotting the fabrics with precision, managed to create floral designs. The ability to combine tradition and innovation, moreover, is a distinctive feature of the company, whose entrepreneurial nature is to enhance craftsmanship without ever neglecting technological and market evolution. An approach that is not only technical, therefore, but also cultural.

A detail of the magnificent workmanship of archive kimonos.

A detail of the magnificent workmanship of archive kimonos.

Tiffany blue, Valentino red, Bottega green, Hermès orange (and all the others): how and when were the most iconic colors in fashion born?

On the catwalk to convey a message or as a marketing operation to reinforce the identity of a brand: in the world of luxury and fashion, there is a story for every colour. Let’s rediscover the 10 who wrote the most important pages of the last hundred years (and more)

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From the charm of the past to the technologies of the future

And if the archives are used to study, reproduce, celebrate and never forget the roots of this precious textile art, the Mantero company also aims for the future by investing in innovative techniques and new machinery.

A studied evolution that however aims to maintain a strong link with tradition. Digital printing, in fact, manages to coexist with manual work thanks to new technologies capable of differentiating themselves in terms of workmanship and creativity.

Theirs is an example of this print project Flock: a technique which consists in the application of powders of different nature derived from the fragmentation into tiny particles of fibres, mainly nylon and polyester which are then partly aspirated. The novelty is that, in addition to this process, they also combine silk-screen and/or digital printing which allows you to obtain one-of-a-kind and totally personalized fabrics.

The Flock printing machinery we saw at Mantero.

The Flock printing machinery we saw at Mantero.

But this is not the company’s only innovation. Other examples? The machinery Skyjet which from 2021 guarantees a perfect centering between the designs on the two different sides of the fabric e AtexCowhich allows you to design and produce a jacquard fabric, in which the crossing of the warp and weft threads creates a design, subsequently printed inkjet.

Digital printing on warp and weft created thanks to the AtexCo machinery acquired from Mantero.

Digital printing on warp and weft created thanks to the machinery AtexCo acquired by Mantero.

New technologies and high expertise, moreover, are necessary. Both to differentiate yourself from competitorto maintain the very high level of the products produced and to continue, after more than a century, to bring the excellence of Made in Italy around the world.

Source: Vanity Fair

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