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fall/winter 2010/11

Thinking the production process of garments the other way around

In early November 2010, Carlo Rivetti invites with a video to a walk through his company and explains the design process the other way around as it is normally practised. So he begins with the construction of a garment and ends with the interaction of colors and how even complementary tones can be synchronized by dyeing techniques.

Stone Island products are first manufactured and then dyed. So he starts the route in the office where the construction of the pattern happens and the combination with dyed and printed material is visually tested. In the 2nd part of the video, Carlo Rivetti introduces to the extensive historical archive (40.000 garments). It is an inspiring source for manufacturing techniques like the adaption of construction elements of tents or ski-suit technology into the urban style.

The next station is the material research laboratory. The further development of a garment by shrinking and dyeing of its fabric is a signature of Stone Island. What makes this process so difficult is the fact that one garment consists of many fabrics which react on the dyeing process differently - some shrink more, the colorings get various tones.

Carlo Rivetti's next station is the color laboratory.

"When I have schools visiting I tell the students that this is probably the closest thing to a renaissance painter's workshop...all the colours of the world are here because we create them on our own... So all the initial research phase is made by hand in an absolute artisan way, formula by formula."

In Stone Island's 'magic eye' room stands a machine for dyeing. Carlo Rivetti says: " ...and like all machines, as it is slightly stupid, it mistakes the dye we use this machine the other way around."

Video: 'The Journey into Stone Island begins' is the opening video of a new series which is published in the News of the label's website.

Source: Original article with video on


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