All roads lead to Rome, even the Silk Road!
Despite the scorching heat that hit Europe in June, we have not been idle 😊. Between resuming our small events and preparing the reopening of the Verbier boutique, the arrival of new products (as always), and new staff members, the month has been busy. But soon it will be vacation time, which we trust will be beautiful and restful for you…
But before leaving or seeing you off 😉, we decided to take you on the Silk Road. A noble material, but whose origin and properties are relatively little-known. A material that has inspired several timepieces of our spring/summer collection that you will view differently after reading this newsletter. And as all roads lead to Rome, we reveal some of the most secret addresses in the capital, to be discovered to your heart’s content!
THE ORIGINS OF SILK
Silk appeared in China between 3000 and 2000 BC. A jealously guarded secret for three millennia, its use was reserved for the emperor. In the second century, silk became a trading currency along the Silk Road that linked China to the Mediterranean. This precious fabric was greatly coveted, particularly by the Romans, to such an extent that the Emperor almost banned trade in it... Yet the secret of its productions was revealed when two monks carried off a colony of silkworms in their pockets. Its production was then gradually exported to India, Korea, Europe and the United States, but currently Asia (China and India) accounts for 90% of the world's silk production, which in turn represents only 0.2% of the world textile fiber market!
THE MANUFACTURE OF SILK: SERICULTURE
Silk is a natural textile material of animal origin: unlike linen or cotton which are of plant-based origin, silk comes from the cocoon made by the caterpillar of the bombyx mori, the famous silkworm on which everything depends....
The production process, called "sericulture", consists of raising silkworms which are fed with mulberry leaves. After molting several times, in two to three days the caterpillars form cocoons, which are heated to dissolve the glue that coats them. They are then brushed to collect the famous silk thread. Each cocoon provides a single continuous thread (unlike cotton, which produces interrupted fibers) of excellent strength, comparable to a steel wire of the same cross-section. They can be up to a kilometer long! Ten or so of these threads are then combined into a single thicker and stronger thread, raw silk, which is then woven. It is worth noting that it takes about 2,500 worms to make one pound of raw silk!
SILK, A PRECIOUS YET TECHNICAL FABRIC!
Silk is known for its beautiful drape and absorbent nature, and it offers many advantages:
- Texture. Silk is incredibly soft and has a flattering sheen, giving it a luxurious, high-end appeal.
- Robustness and durability. It is one of the strongest natural fibers, although it loses some strength when wet.
- Absorbency. Silk is one of the most absorbent fabrics, which enables it to handle moisture well in clothing.
The fabric shrinks when washed, so a silk garment must always be dry-cleaned.
SUMMER WILL BE SILKY AT KA/NOA
We have worked hard with our partner Tallia Di Delfino, an Italian fabric manufacturer since 1903, to leverage all the advantages of silk and develop innovative materials to enrich our collections. Today we are proud to present two new materials stemming from this collaboration: Portofino Linen and silk Solaro, and Tech Silk Vanguard.
PORTOFINO LINEN AND SILK SOLARO
It all began with Solaro, a technical fabric invented in 1907 by the English doctor Louis Sambonn, intended for the British troops engaged in the tropical colonies of His Majesty and able to protect wearers from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. In the 1930s, far from its military use, this fabric became fashionable in the tailor shops of Savile Row, London. As it was rather thick, it was used at the time for mid-season clothing.
This led to the idea of mixing it with linen so as to make it lighter and more summery, while keeping its iridescent color: Portofino Linen and Silk Solaro was born at Tallia di Delfino! Made of 91% linen and 9% silk, this exclusive fabric combines the chic of linen and the shine of silk, while offering breathability and resistance to creasing.
NEW: CLEMAN Cargo shorts in Portofino linen and silk) 100% Made in Italy.
NEW: VINCE easy pants with drawstring, in Portofino linen and silk, matching the FRIEDERIC natural white 100% cotton cardigan, the CLAMENC yarn-dyed stripe structure shirt in 52% cotton and 48% linen, and the natural white AMIR leather sneakers.
TECH SILK STRETCH VANGUARD
Tech Silk Stretch Vanguard is a fabric that combines the ancient tradition of weaving, the luxury of pure silk, and the avant-garde research and development of Tallia di Delfino, which has succeeded in making silk stretchy and water-repellent! A real technical innovation, for an optimum result that combines contemporary luxury and performance.
NEW: BORIS chino pants in Tech Silk stretch Vanguard. Water-repellent, stretch and breathable.
57% silk, 37% PA, 5% elastane.
SILK, WOOL AND LINEN: AN EXPLOSIVE COCKTAIL!
The ultimate mix of natural materials, for unique comfort and freshness.
The fabric of our new KASEY pants combines all the characteristics of an ideal pair of trousers. As always, developed by Tallia di Delfino, manufacturer of excellent fabrics.
NEW: KASEY belted Cargo Pants in silk, wool and linen. Yarn-dyed structured material. The irregularities of the linen and silk fibers produce a wavy appearance, characteristic of this fabric.
45% virgin wool, 45% linen, 10% silk
KA/NOA x PIERRE CREPAUD: KA/NOA IN THE KITCHEN!
Michelin-starred chef Pierre Crepaud enjoys a longstanding friendship with Bruno and Valerie Grande. It is therefore quite natural that together they designed and created the first KA/NOA kitchen coat: 100% Made in Italy of course! Picking up the signature collar of the Conrad shirt, this chef's jacket subtly picks up the green typical of the great chef thanks to a discreet edging that accentuates the contours of the garment. A unique and exclusive piece of clothing, which embodies the common values of these epicureans, lovers of beautiful things, authenticity and simplicity, whether in dishes or in apparel. To be discovered at the Guérite 1814 of the Corbassière cellar, the idyllic place where Chef Crepaud works all summer long!
THE 100 METERS OF THE RUE VERDAINE, Geneva
After a two-year absence, the Verdaine Street Festival was back on 16 June! For this occasion, KA/NOA brought out the slicer, the San Daniele ham and the prosecco! Thank you to all those who came to say hello to us on this occasion.
KA/NOA BACK AT POLO PARK ZURICH!
On the occasion of the Swiss Medium Goal Championships, KA/NOA once again made its presence felt in the magical atmosphere of the Zurich Polo Park. A promising first tournament, before the 23^rd Zurich International Ladies Cup on the weekend of 2-3 July. If you are in Zurich, please stop by Seuzach and visit us!
DESTINATION: Rome, the eternal city
How difficult it is to select KA/NOA places in a city like Rome! There are so many, which meant we had to make a choice, and we relied on the expertise of Eugenio and Tancredi, two friends whom we thank for their sharing! So follow our guides and wander through the twists and turns of the Eternal City.
Angelina a Testaccio restaurant
Angelina Restaurant is located in the Testaccio district in Rome, overlooking Monte dei cocci. The original butchers' working table is today replaced by a large 1970s dining table.
On starry nights, the ceiling may be opened so as to enjoy some fantastic sights, whilst the terraces on the top floor are tastefully laid out for breakfast, brunches, cocktails and dinner, in scenographic spaces created using lemon and olive trees.
The Chapter Hotel
If Rome is your oyster, then Chapter Roma’s your bedrock. Find us behind an old door in a narrow side street of Regola. We’re not fancy, and we’re not not-fancy. Where are we? We are at the center of it all. In the heart of Rome, authentic and contemporary.
Osteria il Tempo Perso
A stone's throw from Piazza di Spagna, in the heart of the Eternal City, is the Osteria del Tempo Perso. Its central location makes it easy to reach. The restaurant has an air-conditioned indoor dining room and an elegantly furnished outdoor area.
The service runs from morning until evening, with no closing day, ensuring that passers-by, Romans and tourists alike, always find a cozy place for a tasteful break.
Poesis Hotel Experience
Beautiful brand-new hotel in the heart of Rome, next to Piazza del Popolo. Renovated from an ancient mansion with only eight rooms in all, so you feel super-pampered as a guest. Clean, elegantly decorated and very spacious rooms. Amazing views from the rooftop terrace.
Condominio Monti Hotel
The word "condominio" in Italian refers to joint ownership, a grouping of people with varying lifestyles and habits who choose to share certain spaces with each other. The condominio becomes a place of sharing, a place where different lives and points of view come together, and even clash at times.
This is what inspired the concept of Condominio Monti, an early 1900's apartment building, transformed into a brand-new boutique hotel in the heart of the Monti neighbourhood.
The fourth floor of the Palazzo Pamphilj Art Gallery is home to Terrazza Borromini, framing one of the most evocative views of the famous Piazza Navona.
The splendid terrace set between the bell tower and the magnificent dome of Sant'Agnese in Agone is a unique place to admire the sunset over the Eternal City while sipping good wine or an Americano on the world's most beautiful terrace 😉. Make sure to stop by with your sweethart!
For the best Carbonara, Caccio e Pepe, and Amatriciana !
One of the oldest trattorias in Rome, family owned since 1911. Four generations of Perilli family have dedicated their lives to this restaurant in the heart of Rome.
The history of 'Giggetto al Portico d'Ottavia' began when, as a World War I veteran, Luigi Ceccarelli, known as 'Giggetto', and his wife Ines took the opportunity to buy an old tavern that became famous in 1923 for its good Frascati wine and the excellent dishes carefully prepared by 'Sora Ines'; Notably including the peerless 'carciofi alla giudia' (Roman-Jewish style deep-fried artichokes).
Few people know that Giggetto's has already reached the third generation, as Franco Ceccarelli is already assisted by his son Claudio, the grandson of the man who strongly wanted to perpetuate the reality of the true 'osteria romana.