What’s the soprarizzo velvet?
The soprarizzo velvet is one of the most complex types of velvet, since it consists of two layers of velvet: the cut velvet on top, which defines the pattern; the curly velvet, below the former, serving as the ground velvet. Another feature that distinguishes one layer from the other is colour: the cut velvet is dark, the curly one is light. Besides, each millimetre of the former level is cut by hand by weavers.
The fabrics’ designs
The patterns of our handmade velvets and of the other fabrics come from our archive, which consists of 3.500 designs, ranging from Byzantine decorations to Art Deco. But we create new patterns, as well, projecting them with our customers.
Looms and machines of the 18th century
The handmade velvets we produce are all woven on 18th-century looms, the same items that Luigi Bevilacqua recovered in 1875 from the old Silk Guild of the Republic of Venice. The same is true of the machines we employ to prepare the warp’s threads.
The Jacquard loom
Old weaving looms were completely hand-operated. As a consequence, making complex fabrics took an extremely long time. At the beginning of the 19th century, though, a major invention revolutionized the textile world: Jacquard’s machine, which automatically moves the warp’s threads that constitute the pattern. The weavers’ work got easier, but as far as soprarizzo velvets are concerned, the production remained long and complicated: each millimetre of the fabric must still be cut by hand. That’s why every day our weavers make just from 30 to 80 centimetres of velvet.