Taking its name from the Italian coast, our silk-cotton Amalfi Polo Shirt comes in three shades: classic ocean blue, rich lava and emerald green – hues which lend themselves well to year-round wear. Not only is it set to become your failsafe on casual days, but it’s at the same time a stand-alone piece for elegant evening occasions.
But it’s the luxuriously soft and smooth fabric that’s the real star here. It’s an entirely new cloth for us, which we’ve engineered with the skilled Italian craftsmen in the know and it’s undergone rigorous testing from start to finish to ensure it goes the distance.
And to mark its launch, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on why this practical and luxurious fabric deserves a place in your wardrobe.
Luca Faloni Amalfi Polo Shirt in Emerald Green.
The Origins of Silk-Cotton
While silk and cotton were used on their own to make apparel for millennia, they had their limitations. Silk has always been costly and time-consuming to produce and also a rather delicate, high-maintenance fabric. Cotton on the other hand, is easier to manufacture in larger quantities and comfortable to wear, but it lacks the smoothness and regal cachet of silk.
Around the 18th century, fabric technicians began to conduct experiments blending different fibres to harness the best qualities of each. One of those cloths was silk-cotton, which has the luxe handle of silk, combined with the cushion and durability of cotton, making it both practical and refined. “The cooling properties of cotton and the wicking nature of silk are ideal for multi-season wear, and it has a beautiful handle and a greater hardness than pure silk garments” explains Patrick Michael Hughes, Fashion Historian and Senior Lecturer at Parsons School of Design, New York.
Our silk-cotton is produced by a renowned textile mill located in Italy’s Piedmont region. It’s been a family business since the 1700s, now run by the 9th generation.
To craft the cloth for our Amalfi Polo Shirt, only the finest Mulberry silk fibres are meticulously selected to ensure the highest quality silk is guaranteed.
“These silkworms feed solely on the leaves of the Mulberry tree and produce a fibre with long filaments. This makes an exceptionally fine cloth that’s incredibly lustrous and drapes beautifully. This precious fibre is then knitted with long-fibre cotton to a ratio of 60% silk and 40% cotton. The end result is a cloth with a cloud-like softness.”
“The silk-cotton we produce for Luca Faloni is a knitted jersey with a 28 gauge, which feels substantial but not overly heavy. The fine knit construction provides natural stretch and great ease of wear. We then piece-dye the material to ensure an even colour throughout the cloth”.
- Michele, artisan.
Luca Faloni Amalfi Polo Shirt in Ocean Blue.
A cotton plant in flower and bearing cotton fibre.
A Brief Background of Cotton
According to the history buffs, the oldest garment made from cotton is believed to date from 6000 B.C. and was discovered by archaeologists in the prehistoric Peruvian settlement of Huaca Prieta. Cotton was also known to the Ancient Greeks, with famed historian Herodotus describing it as “a wool exceeding in beauty and goodness that of sheep”. While most of us probably wouldn’t be so poetic in describing such a commonplace fabric, those ancients were on to something as cotton’s comfort, breathability and robust nature make it indispensable to the apparel industry today.
Of course, there’s cotton and there’s cotton – and the length of its fibres is key to its quality. Yarn made from longer fibres is considered more superior, as it can be spun into a finer yarn which can be tightly bound during knitting or weaving, making a more durable cloth. It also results in a softer fabric, as the long fibres are easier to bind more closely, in contrast to shorter-fibre cotton which has bristly ends that stick out, giving the cloth a coarser texture.
A Brief Background of Silk
As a material of prestige, silk needs little introduction. It had almost legendary status in Ancient China, where the art of sericulture – the farming of silkworms – was first developed.
In its raw form, there are several types of silk including Eri, Tasar and Muga silk, which are harvested in the wild and have a coarse, inconsistent texture. Mulberry silk – the cloth that the ancient Chinese so jealously guarded – is the most prized on account of its liquid softness and lustre. It’s obtained from cultivated mulberry silkworms – or bombyx mori as it’s known to naturalists – which strictly speaking, are caterpillars, not worms. Beyond its exceptional handle and aesthetic appeal, this cloth of emperors also has an impressive roster of benefits to the wearer, including superb temperature regulation, the ability to wick moisture rapidly and it’s hypoallergenic, too, due to the natural protein sericin, which helps prevents skin irritation. It’s what you might call a super cloth.
A silkworm caterpillar and its adult form.
Luca Faloni Silk-Cotton.
How to Care for Silk-cotton
Unlike pure silk, clothing made from this luxurious blend isn’t nearly as demanding to maintain and while it can be dry cleaned, it can be washed, too. Here are our top care tips for your silk-cotton garments:
• Prolong the life of your silk-cotton garment by hand washing it at 30°C with a natural, chemical-free detergent, do not bleach or machine wash.
• Do not tumble dry to keep the fibres of your garment in good shape; air dry it flat instead.
• Ironing silk-cotton is absolutely fine, but is best done at a lower temperature.
• For storage, it’s always best to fold knitted garments as hanging can cause their shape to distort.