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Texprint Connects with Italian Textile Giants

25 October 2015 by TexSelect in Fashion, Sponsors, Judges & Champions

More than ever supporting graduate designers through properly structured internships is invaluable to fast track commercial awareness and industry experience, and Texprint’s ongoing relationship with Italian trade organization Unindustria Como is a great example of the benefits such a relationship can bring.

Unindustria Como is responsible for organizing an invaluable and unforgettable experience for promising European textile design talent, including for 2015, seven talented Texprint designers – the ComON creativity week, followed by seven-week internships with many of the globally renowned textile companies based around Lake Como in Italy. These are companies that have long understood the importance of investing in their future.

Designers with Lake Como in the background

Three Texprint representatives were invited by Unindustria Como to join the designers for the ComOn creativity week.  Creative director Peter Ring-Lefevre, who has taken part in the proceedings since the launch of the event nine years ago, also sponsorship director Joanna Bowring and chairman Barbara Kennington were delighted to accept and joined the Texprint designers for a packed few days of introductions and activities. Also invited were three professors from European institutions whose students were taking part. 

Fabric swatches from the Antonio Ratti Foundation archives

For the designers, their 7-week internships started with an Italian language class – not only are they going to be working in a new country, but also tackling a new language! Then, joined by the professors and Texprint team there were visits to the fascinating Antonio Ratti Foundation Archives and silk exhibition 'the silk gardens'; and to the Ratti and Canepa manufacturing plants to view their state-of-the-art production facilities and their inspiring textile archives. 

Designers looking at the Ratti factory archives

Designers being shown around the Ratti design studios

The next day a trip over the border to Switzerland to visit Consitex SA, the super-efficient bespoke menswear manufacturing unit where brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna and Tom Ford are made.  There was also a day visit to the Milan Expo 2015, a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries aimed to demonstrate a concrete answer to a vital need: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life (this exhibition closes 31 October). Plus visits to Centro Tessile Serico, the textile testing laboratory, and the Como Silk Museum.  All-in-all, a packed programme!

 

British Pavilion at Milan expo 2015

Each evening the designers, visiting professors and Texprint team were joined by Unindustria Como members to enjoy dinner together.  On the last evening dinner was preceded by a reception in Como at an exhibition specially created for the young designers by Miniartextil, a unique organization that showcases the work of international textile artists.

Dinner with new friends and colleagues

The seven Texprint designers were matched with the following companies: Amy Bennett (print) with E.Boselli & C. SpA; Emma McCluskey (print) with Seterie Argenti SpA; Ciaran Moore (print) with Teseo SpA; Jessica Pickard (print) with Lisa SpA; Joanna Robins (mixed media) with Luigi Verga SpA; Stephanie Rolph (mixed media) with A.M. Taborelli SpA; and Gilles Werbrouck (knit) with Colombo SpA.

Our thanks to all these companies for providing the designers with this unique opportunity to experience working with textiles in Italy.

Peter Ring-Lefevre concludes: “Unindustria Como and ComON’s mission to create a hub of textile creativity fits perfectly with Texprint’s own desire to ensure that designers selected for Texprint are as prepared as possible for their future careers in the textile industry.  We truly applaud the Italian companies’ imagination and commitment to the textile design talent of the future.”

Unindustria Como, and Ratti/Marzotto Group are valued sponsors of Texprint.

Miniartextil exhibition of inspirational international textile art

Designers looking at the Ratti factory archives

Fabric from the Ratti Fondation archives

Dinner with some of the other visiting participants

Desk at Ratti where the emphasis is on creating original artwork

Illustrating the sheer scale of the Ratti factory archives

Fabric designs from the Ratti Fondation archives

Print screens at the Ratti factory

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TexSelect is a registered charity, entirely funded by the generous sponsorship of industry, by British charitable foundations, and by individuals connected to the industry. All believe wholeheartedly in supporting the next generation of textile design talent and in encouraging innovation and excellence.

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