A wool and linen yarn from Tollegno 1900 was among the protagonists of an experiment carried out within the “Color Science and Sustainability – Master Collection Design” at Polimoda in Florence. Head of the project, consisting in applying a natural dye to the yarn with dyeing plants, is Paola Barzanò, not only a teacher at Istituto Toscano, but also consultant for natural and sustainable dyes from dyeing plants and mineral, artisanal and industrial pigments applied to textile fibers of natural origin.
What does this experiment propose?
There are two aims at the basis of this project: on the one hand, to promote knowledge of the history of color before the discovery of synthetic molecules and the possible execution of natural dyes on an industrial scale; on the other hand, implement the ability to create your own colors and combine them.
This project involved a Tollegno 1900 wool and linen yarn. Why did the choice fall on this product?
First because I have known the quality of Tollegno 1900 yarns for a long time because for 20 years I produced a small collection of sustainable women’s knitwear. The choice of what has been the subject of our experiment is above all the result of its composition, a mix of fibers both of vegetable origin such as linen, and animal, wool. The natural color, in fact, enhances the properties of brightness and intensity of the tones, producing a very interesting chine effect, capable of further enhancing the full-bodied hand feel of the yarn.
How would you define the obtained results?
Very interesting and capable of intriguing and stimulating future fashion designers who, from their experience with natural colors and fibers, can draw inspiration to create something surprising. It is not a coincidence that some of them choose to develop their study project solely in this direction.
In future terms, are there any evolutions for this project or are you developing new study channels?
We are always open to new experiments, facilitated by the constant evolution of blends with natural fibers. We are now working on a project that will have hemp and its blends as its protagonist.
The sustainability factor therefore remains central. In your opinion, can there be an association with science?
I believe so, because the approach to science, by vocation analytical, cognitive, historical, and technical, can also have a sustainable slant. The comparison between conventional and natural industrial deying process alllows you to make conscious choices by evaluating the pros and cons on the basis of sustainabilty.
Sustainablity which is the fundamental element also of the course you held at Polimoda in Florence. What exactly does it consist of?
It is a path of color knowledge, from its perception to laboratory practice with natural dyes up to the rough analysis of conventional ones. Through the dyeing of fabrics and yarns, students experiment with color by learning to compose it in infinite variations.