T Talk, Yarn
Ornella Bignami
How has the yarn universe changed? Which are the prospects for the future? Who is the designer of tomorrow? This and more told by the person who follows and supervises the “Feel the Yarn” project for 11 years.

“The world of spinners has certainly grown in quality, innovation and service over the last 5 years. More and more space was given to the theme of sustainability  which not only involved the development of yarns, but also led to a real change in strategy at all levels. At the same time, the opening to international markets has contributed to creating important growth opportunities, accompanied by the need for bigger and more precise communication of products and processes. In this scenario, the presence of some objective difficulties is undeniable, especially related to the need to anticipate and understand the evolution of consumption of the new generations, to open up to e-commerce and to embrace not only sustainability, but also the circular economy, addresses increasingly requested by brands and consumers”.

The spinning universe of the last five years has been designed by Ornella Bignami who, since 2009, has had a leading role in “Feel the Yarn”, a project born from the will of the spinners with the aim of raising awareness among young creatives through constant contact with schools.

You have a privileged observatory that allows you to touch both the needs of companies and the expectations of tomorrow’s designers, and also have a vision of the future in this field.


At the present time it is difficult to make predictions, but I believe that we can look to the future with positivity, working on the DNA consolidation of each individual company, designing collections structured to offer not only reliable and sustainable quality, but also durability, and an impeccable service.  Also not to be underestimated is the use of regenerated materials and the proposal each season of a few but significant creative additions. Color in its many versions  will certainly play an important role.

The roads that open up are many for students who will have to build a career. To be competitive on the market, it will no longer be enough just to know one’s sector in depth, but also to lend oneself to contamination with others…

The designer of the future is a multitasking figure. Perhaps he will be more of an art director capable of working in team with the company’s technical-commercial functions.  Personal intuition will certainly play an important role, as long as it is supported by careful observation of the evolution of consumption and by analyzing their adherence to the corporate DNA. It will also be necessary to have an open mind toward new technologies of 3D design, knit production, new dyeing and decoration solutions, with great attention to comfort and functionality

In this direction, “Feel The Yarn” can be a valid platform to experiment, but also to demonstrate one’s skills. What value does an initiative like this have for the students’ professionalism?

Before this project, knitwear had not yet been included in the programs of most fashion institutes.  “Feel The Yarn” allowed to introduce the most in-depth knowledge of yarns, which already have their own creativity to interpret and enrich with students’ ideas. Over time, they have been given many elements to get to know, through visits to factories, the availability of yarns and trends, understanding how this field was constantly evolving. At the same time, they were also given the opportunity to express their ideas at a fundamental moment in their training.

 “Feel The Yarn”  has also given the chance to the companies to come into contact with new vital lymph, precious for renewing themselves or for giving space to new projects.  An element of not negligible value that has convinced our company to take part in it for 4 editions now.

I have known Tollegno 1900 for many years and have followed with interest its evolution towards increasingly performing and contemporary knitting yarns, anticipating the commitment to sustainable materials and processes. Being among the companies in the sector that have embraced the philosophy of “Feel the yarn” is an indication of its concrete interest in supporting the thread of continuity between school and the world of work, specifically in that knitwear sector in which the company expresses itself.

You know the world of school very closely, taking care of “Feel The Yarn” to involve and maintain the relationship with the most prestigious international fashion universities and academies, taking care of the selection of designers and following them in the realization of their projects. How has the Covid-19 emergency impacted on this context as well?

COVID-19 forced CPF-Consorzio Promozione Filati (organizer of the training-creative initiative together with Pitti Immagine) to accelerate innovative solutions to complete the 2020 edition, already at a very advanced stage at the time of the first lockdown.  The competition was successfully migrated from the Florentine catwalks to the social world, thus opening up to new possible prospects for developments.





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