Year Established: 1985
Shop: Maglificio di Annamaria
We craft all our knitwear (jumpers, cardigans, and knitted overshirts) in a maglificio located on the outskirts of Como, just a few minutes away from our base. Annamaria set up her own workshop in 1985 building on the vast knowledge that she had gathered working in the field since her late teens.
Starting with a small operation employing only 2 other people, Annamaria’s workshop has grown over the years and with the help of 15 trusted artisans, she is now able to carry out each production steps exclusively in house, all the way from knitting to fulling. Like most of our partner artisans, Annamaria’s workshop can be considered a family business, although with an unusual twist. Interestingly enough, the workshop is shared between Annamaria and his husband who runs a trophy making atelier, hand crafting beautiful trophies for major international sporting events. Needless to say, whenever we are around, we always take a moment to visit the top floor of the building and admire the stunning trophies currently in the making!
To craft our knitwear, Annamaria relies on four Shima Seiki fully fashioned knitting machines. These machines are made in Japan and are largely considered to be the best in the business when it comes to crafting fully fashioned knitwear. With this knitting technique, the different parts making up the final garment are knitted to size rather than being cut out of a bigger piece of knitted cloth (‘cut and sew’ method). Using the fully fashioned method significantly reduces waste (up to 25%) and guarantees a better fit, comfort and aesthetic since the seams are flatter and more elastic.
The process of creating fully fashion knitwear starts with the painstaking job of engineering the different components of the garment in order to create a pattern for the machine to follow. This is done using a specialized software which allows to modify every single stitch that will make up the final garment. Lots of knowledge and trials are needed to translate a design into a knitting pattern that is proportionate and sized correctly.
Once the machine has worked its magic, the parts making up the garment (front, back, sleeves, neck, cuff and eventually pockets) are ready to be linked together. This is done by specialized artisans using circular linking machines of different gauges to match the thickness of each design. The speed and dexterity of these artisans make this a very mesmerizing and oddly satisfying process to watch.
At this point, the assembled garment is finally ready to be washed and treated in order to bring out all the softness and warmth of the natural fibers (wool and cashmere). This process, called fulling, is carried out using industrial washing machines programmed according to a careful balance of time and heath. The house ‘recipe’ for fulling has been perfected over the years and Annamaria is very adamant in keeping it a secret.