In the old book we call the world, the stories of men and women are unique and precious threads which unravel in time and space. They then weave together in such tight and complex ways as to instigate an ever richer and grander pattern. One cannot but draw attention to the evocative parallelism between the dynamics of the tales of men and women and those aspects of the most archaic and grassroot expertise of artisan know-how which, over the course of centuries, have shaped tastes and beauty. More specifically, the noble art of weaving certainly cannot escape this comparison: after all, aren’t men and women’s destinies represented by a thin thread that the three mythological weavers, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos (who controlled the thread of life of every mortal from birth to death) were intent in spinning, weaving and cutting?

The history of weaving has seen some of its most beautiful and important chapters written in Italy, especially in Veneto.

The tale of this art, which has its roots in distant times, was absorbed and proliferated thanks to the experience and perseverance of families which have served it with passion. They have never severed that tough and indestructible original thread which is so profoundly part of their identity.

Lanificio Bottoli’s emblematic adventure commences just a few kilometers from Venice, in Vittorio Veneto. It is in an area that may boast, without fear of denial, one of the most prestigious European textile traditions profoundly rooted in the proud tradition of beauty and culture of La Serenissima. Lane Bottoli, i.e. the pairing of the names wool and Bottoli, is the synthesis of five generations of a family of Venetian entrepreneurs that have committed heart and soul.

This commitment began in 1861, a year in which Italy was being “built”, with the initial production of woolen blankets and cloths. Year after year, the Bottoli have been able to establish a comprehensive cycle of autonomous production. They have done so without ever having to give up the vocation of creating patterned fabrics with natural raw materials of exceptional quality which are capable of restoring the sense of beauty, and a true expression of the culture of the Serenissima Repubblica Veneziana.

The company’s current momentum, ever more looking towards the future, is owed to Tito Bottoli. It is he, in fact, who gave shape to the current production site back in 1949. It is a site which extends over an old military school of the Serenissima of Venice, an area of historical relevance which had fallen under the Austro-Hungarian Empire for a period of time before being returned to Italy, and whose defensive walls are still visible today as traces of its past.

For five generations, Lanificio Bottoli has held up the banner of the ancient Venetian textile tradition which expresses the beauty and culture of La Serenissima

Roberto Bottoli, CEO of Lane BottoIi

Today the production site of the woolen mill grown to the size of 5,000 square meters, and is caressed by the lively and energetic waters of the Meschio River which flows nearby. As witnessed pen to paper by the priceless heritage of the archive by the same name, the Bottoli family has built its legend generation after generation. The archive is proudly preserved in a dedicated area of the site and may be visited upon request. Here, one may find the infinite variations of craftsmanship that have inspired creatives and stylists eager to try their hand at new collections.

Especially in this specific case, the fabric may actually be considered the paper used for the pages of the binders: an eclectic cloth capable of accommodating all the expressive possibilities as well as the innate desire of leaving a mark in this world. Starting with the flannels, Cheviot and Saxony, in vogue in the early 1900s, all the way to contemporary fabrics such as Lambswool and Sportex, and timeless ones such as Shetland and Tweed that have been reinterpreted through a modern vision. These precious binders organized by fabric type in the Bottoli archive have preserved the tangible testimony of the epic narrative of an art of breathtaking splendor.

Five generations of Bottoli have been carrying on a true cultural mission in the footsteps of a solid loyalty to a very specific triad of essential values; creativity, quality and duty. The business’ textile production is the result of a full-fledged standard of beauty that begins with the careful selection of raw materials and is reaffirmed every step of the way through painstaking management of the entire supply chain. From the wool to the finished product, by way of dyeing, spinning, warping, weaving, finishing operations and quality control checks. The final catalogue consists of a sample of fabrics of true Italian excellence which travel to, are admired and purchased in 21 countries around the world.

They make themselves available to becoming part of yet another story of even greater magnitude to be told, one made of the ingeniousness of an exceptional clientele which includes the highest representatives of both national and international fashion and clothing manufacturers.

Merino wool blankets by Lane Bottoli for Etro Men’s
Fall-Winter 2020 Collection Fashion Show Milan.

The secret of Lane Bottoli’s success is probably that of never being satisfied with the achieved results, but rather committing to writing new pages of advancements and breakthroughs. A perfect balance between past and future, to the extent that, alongside rediscovering the Italian sheep heritage, in the vital perspective of an efficacious promotion of the Made in Italy textile tradition, the company is consolidating the production of environmentally friendly fabrics with its Lanaitaliana® line.

This is yet another demonstration that the company keeps an eye on the environment and on the opportunities of creating an advancement which is solidly sustainable. The next chapter of Lane Bottoli’s great adventure has yet to be written, but it can only continue to enwrap and charm us, just as it happened to Junya Watanabe, the Japanese fashion guru. Watanabe is an exceptional admirer of the Bottoli fabrics and not only has he chosen them for some of his creations, but they are a source of inspiration for him, to the extent that an exceptional co-branding operation is underway composed of a special t-shirt and sweater bound to become cult pieces.

Elisabetta Pasca

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