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The fabric used most frequently to create the best ties is, of course, silk: and manufacturing silk for neckties is a job that requires a great deal of skill. Putting it down on paper, that is, the paper pattern on graph paper of the way that it must work with the warp and weave (which constitutes the structure of the fabric and make it possible to reproduce the design down the most minute detail), is then placed on the model of the loom. The coloured threads on the loom are “brushed”: since part of their weight has been lost during hot dyeing processes, they are immersed in vegetal sizing or in a solution full of metallic salts, so that they will get their original consistency back. This process obviously contributes to the hand of the necktie”.
“Our clients are passionate about their neckties, and they are also perfectionists; so we have to be that way, too. The Italianness of our ties mirrors this vision of ours”
In Italy, the luxury clothing industry and custom tailoring also includes almost legendary names in the creations of neckties. Among these, Passaggio has recently been making a name for itself, specializing in the production of custom-made ties for very demanding clients: “Everything is custom-made, and exclusively hand made, according to the ancient Neapolitan tradition. The client is the one to choose the fabric, model, inside, sizes, colours, opening of the folds and whether to have his initials or family coat of arms embroidered on it or not” says John Cerutti, a very young and enthusiastic partner in this truly extraordinary firm.
Extraordinary because today, for example, they are the only ones in Italy to have the age-old 7 plies, “without an inside, and completely hand-hemmed from a single piece of silk§”, as John says. “Just as there are only a few like us, instead, who use 4 plies, besides the classic necktie, from a single piece of silk. Ties from a single piece of silk are the maximum in exclusiveness as well as in hand-made Neapolitan and Italian mastery”.
The fabrics chosen by Passaggio are also exclusive and highly researched: “90% of the fabrics we use are very rare vintage fabrics, greatly appreciated by our clients. Our silk, wool and cashmere fabrics are all 30 to 60 years old: they are all hand-printed, with patterns that can no longer be found, hence the utmost in exclusiveness. What is more, we faithfully reproduce English designs of 1930, still printed by hand on the best silk on the market”Among the fabrics most in demand is gauze, “produced only in two factories today, and still on age-old shuttle looms”.
All of Passaggio’s ties are of course the work of refined Italian craftsmen: but clients all over the world who want one of their neckties will not find Passaggio boutiques or stores. “We are the one to go to our clients, through events or private appointments totally dedicated to them. And we can also – always with advance notice – be in Milan or Naples”, says John.“Our clients are passionate about their neckties, and they are also perfectionists; so we have to be that way, too. The Italianness of our ties mirrors this vision of ours”.
Laura Inghirami, journalist and advisor specialized in the jewelry sector, and Founder of Donna Jewel, interviewed, for the Cologni Foundation, the Master artisans who have been awarded as “MAM – Master of Arts and Crafts”, in the category: Jewelry - Silversmithing – Goldsmithing.