The Italian Touch: The Cashmere Valley

We’ve partnered with Vogue Italia to explore the Italian Touch – the unique Italian attitude towards life, craft and food that makes our country and the people who live in it so special. Today we take a trip to Italy’s Cashmere Valley, a beautiful area in Umbria where skilled craftsmen create some of the world’s finest cashmere garments.

In America they have the Silicon Valley. Here in Italy we have the Cashmere Valley, as it is called abroad. It is located in the Trasimeno river area, in the heart of Italy, and stretches across a network of little alleys, stone houses and small villages that keep our country’s traditions alive. Their stories are closely connected to the development of a district specialising in the production of angora and cashmere knitwear.

Various brands collaborate with the local expert craftsmen to produce top quality garments using the luxurious fiber exported and well-known all over the world. Good quality cashmere has to be lightweight and silky soft. This special yarn has insulating properties and can be worn in cold, warm and even humid weather.

Umbria-produced knitwear has been particularly popular with British fashion followers since the early 1900s, and they have been enamoured with Umbria’s quality handcrafted garments: scarves, sweaters and outerwear pieces that were not only high-quality items but also featured innovative tailoring and a unique neutral hue. Local producers in Umbria have been the first to focus on investments to innovate their business, setting up dyeing workshops and launching luxury knitwear that is appreciated all over the world.

A number of family-run companies set up in the 1930s chose to specialise in the production of small accessories like socks and scarves, crafted from a cashmere and silk blend. Others are makers of curtains, bed sheets and embroidery for the home, all crafted by artisans in local workshops with an approach that is closer to artistic mastery than to corporate production.

Also well-known are the cashmere, linen and cotton textiles created in Umbria, that are used for bridal wear and often made-to-order for royal families.

The village and the families inhabiting it are what make Umbria’s knitwear a product of excellence: the producers have always paid special attention to single individuals, creating work based on the quest for beauty and in respect of the environment and their heritage.

This article originally appeared on Vogue Italia.